yam

[yam]
noun
1.
the starchy, tuberous root of any of various climbing vines of the genus Dioscorea, cultivated for food in warm regions.
2.
any of these plants.
3.
4.
Scot. potato ( def 1 ).

Origin:
1580–90; compare Gullah nyam, Jamaican English nyaams, Sranan jamsi < sources in one or more West African languages (compare Wolof nyam(nyam), Fulani nyami to eat, Twi εnãm flesh, ànyinam, ayam’kàw-dé kinds of yam; earlier E forms < Portuguese inhame or Spanish (i)ñame

cassava, sweet potato, yam.
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Collins
World English Dictionary
yam (jæm)
 
n
1.  any of various twining plants of the genus Dioscorea, of tropical and subtropical regions, cultivated for their edible tubers: family Dioscoreaceae
2.  the starchy tuber of any of these plants, which is eaten as a vegetable
3.  (Southern US) any of certain large varieties of sweet potato
4.  a former Scot name for the (common) potato
 
[C17: from Portuguese inhame, ultimately of West African origin; compare Senegal nyami to eat]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

yam
1588, from Port. inhame or Sp. igname, from a W.African language (cf. Fulani nyami "to eat;" Twi anyinam "species of yam"); the word in Amer.Eng. and in Jamaican Eng. is probably directly borrowed from W.African sources.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Example sentences for yam
Yam and sweet potato cubes served in coconut milk and sago, served hot or cold.
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