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lam2

[lam] /læm/
noun
1.
a hasty escape; flight.
verb (used without object), lammed, lamming.
2.
to run away quickly; escape; flee:
I'm going to lam out of here as soon as I've finished.
Idioms
3.
on the lam, escaping, fleeing, or hiding, especially from the police:
He's been on the lam ever since he escaped from jail.
4.
take it on the lam, to flee or escape in great haste:
The swindler took it on the lam and was never seen again.
Origin
1885-1890
1885-90; special use of lam1. Compare beat it! be off!
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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British Dictionary definitions for take on the lam

lam1

/læm/
verb (slang) lams, lamming, lammed
1.
(transitive) to thrash or beat
2.
(intransitive; usually foll by into or out) to make a sweeping stroke or blow
Word Origin
C16: from Scandinavian; related to Old Norse lemja

lam2

/læm/
noun
1.
a sudden flight or escape, esp to avoid arrest
2.
on the lam
  1. making an escape
  2. in hiding
verb lams, lamming, lammed
3.
(intransitive) to escape or flee
Word Origin
C19: perhaps from lam1 (hence, to be off)
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for take on the lam

lam

n.

"flight," as in on the lam, 1897, from a U.S. slang verb meaning "to run off" (1886), of uncertain origin, perhaps somehow from the first element of lambaste, which was used in British student slang for "beat" since 1590s; if so, it would give the word the same etymological sense as the slang expression beat it.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for take on the lam

lam

verb
  1. To depart; go, esp hastily in escaping: lammed for Cleveland
  2. To escape from prison
Related Terms

on the lam, take it on the lam

[1886+ Underworld; ultimately fr British sense ''beat,'' found by 1596, hence the same semantically as beat it]


The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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Related Abbreviations for take on the lam

LAM

lymphagioleiomyomatosis
The American Heritage® Abbreviations Dictionary, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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Idioms and Phrases with take on the lam

lam

see: on the lam
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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