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tame

[teym] /teɪm/
adjective, tamer, tamest.
1.
changed from the wild or savage state; domesticated:
a tame bear.
2.
without the savageness or fear of humans normal in wild animals; gentle, fearless, or without shyness, as if domesticated:
That lion acts as tame as a house cat.
3.
tractable, docile, or submissive, as a person or the disposition.
4.
lacking in excitement; dull; insipid:
a very tame party.
5.
spiritless or pusillanimous.
6.
not to be taken very seriously; without real power or importance; serviceable but harmless:
They kept a tame scientist around.
7.
brought into service; rendered useful and manageable; under control, as natural resources or a source of power.
8.
cultivated or improved by cultivation, as a plant or its fruit.
verb (used with object), tamed, taming.
9.
to make tame; domesticate; make tractable.
10.
to deprive of courage, ardor, or zest.
11.
to deprive of interest, excitement, or attractiveness; make dull.
12.
to soften; tone down.
13.
to harness or control; render useful, as a source of power.
14.
to cultivate, as land or plants.
verb (used without object), tamed, taming.
15.
to become tame.
Origin
900
before 900; (adj.) Middle English; Old English tam; cognate with Dutch tam, German zahm, Old Norse tamr; (v.) Middle English tamen, derivative of the adj.; replacing Middle English temen to tame, Old English temian, derivative of tam; cognate with Old Norse temja, Gothic gatamjan; akin to Latin domāre to tame
Related forms
tamely, adverb
tameness, noun
tamer, noun
overtame, adjective
overtamely, adverb
overtameness, noun
untame, adjective
untamely, adverb
untameness, noun
untamed, adjective
well-tamed, adjective
Synonyms
3. meek, subdued. 4. flat, empty, vapid, boring, tedious, uninteresting. 5. cowardly, dastardly. 9. break, subdue. 12. calm, mollify.
Antonyms
1. wild.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for tame
  • Hairdressers hacked away at my unruly mop, unsure how to tame it.
  • Summers reportedly questioned his scholarly work and spoke to him about helping to tame grade.
  • In other cases, once tame birds have reproduced in the wild and established thriving feral populations in foreign ecosystems.
  • But another study finds that reminding kids the info is public may tame the content they publish on the social-networking site.
  • tame stuff by today's standards but novel enough, back then, to gain notice.
  • But after a few hours, the village starts feeling pretty tame.
  • Even some mainstream journals are toying with a tame form of open peer review.
  • AT the risk of your further disillusionment, it must be reported that headhunters are a tame and ordinary lot.
  • But the trial itself, however mesmerising, proved tame compared with what followed.
  • As a star ages, its spin will slow, which should tame its violence.
British Dictionary definitions for tame

tame

/teɪm/
adjective
1.
changed by man from a naturally wild state into a tractable, domesticated, or cultivated condition
2.
(of animals) not fearful of human contact
3.
lacking in spirit or initiative; meek or submissive: a tame personality
4.
flat, insipid, or uninspiring: a tame ending to a book
5.
slow-moving: a tame current
verb (transitive)
6.
to make tame; domesticate
7.
to break the spirit of, subdue, or curb
8.
to tone down, soften, or mitigate
Derived Forms
tamable, tameable, adjective
tamability, tameability, tamableness, tameableness, noun
tameless, adjective
tamely, adverb
tameness, noun
tamer, noun
Word Origin
Old English tam; related to Old Norse tamr, Old High German zam
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 tame
adj.

Old English tom, tam "domesticated, docile," from Proto-Germanic *tamaz (cf. Old Norse tamr, Old Saxon, Old Frisian, Middle Low German, Middle Dutch tam, Old High German zam, German zahm "tame," Gothic tamjan "to tame"), from PIE *deme- "to constrain, to force, to break (horses)" (cf. Sanskrit damayati "tames;" Persian dam "a tame animal;" Greek daman "to tame, subdue," dmetos "tame;" Latin domare "to tame, subdue;" Old Irish damnaim "I tie up, fasten, I tame, subdue"). Possible ulterior connection with PIE *dem- "house, household" (see domestic). Meaning "spiritless, weak, dull" is recorded from c.1600.

v.

early Middle English teme, from Old English temian "make tame" (see tame (adj.)); form altered 14c. by influence of the adjective. Related: Tamed; taming.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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