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Denotation vs. Connotation

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 of tame
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. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for tamest
Historical Examples
  • Even the poem shows how large is his nature—its most careless utterance full of grandeur, its tamest of bold nobleness.

  • One can only picture him carrying a picnic basket in the tamest of scenery.

  • Romance with her bold fictions and splendid colouring inspired the tamest hearts with the love of adventure.

  • Solitary is the largest, rarest, tamest, and sweetest-voiced of the vireos.

    Wild Life Near Home Dallas Lore Sharp
  • So, if you will watch, you shall see a real wild turkey in the tamest old gobbler on the farm.

    Children's Literature Charles Madison Curry
  • I do not know what it might have been in other days, but at present writing it is about the tamest place I know of.

    Nasby in Exile David R. Locke
  • One, possessing the tamest spirit ever put into man, might be expected to turn at the cruel insult you inflicted on Rupert.

    Trevlyn Hold Mrs. Henry Wood
  • They were the wildest of all wild fowl but have now taken on the tamest ways.

    Cornwall G. E. Mitton
  • His wildest adventure will end in a restaurant, while the yokel's tamest adventure may end in a police-court.

    What's Wrong With The World G.K. Chesterton
  • Next to the chickadee, he is the tamest bird of the woodlands.

    Some Winter Days in Iowa Frederick John Lazell
British Dictionary definitions for tamest

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 tamest

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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