Cambridge Dictionaries online Cambridge Dictionaries online

The most popular online dictionary and thesaurus for learners of English

English definition of “jam”

jam

noun uk   /dʒæm/ us  

jam noun (FOOD)

A2 [C or U] (US also jelly) a sweet, soft food made by cooking fruit with sugar to preserve it. It is eaten on bread or cakes: strawberry/raspberry jam jam sandwiches

jam noun (ON A ROAD)

B2 [C] → traffic jam: We were stuck in a jam for two hours.

jam noun (BLOCK)

C1 [C] something that is stuck in a machine, or that prevents the parts of a machine from moving: She fed the documents into the machine making sure that there were no paper jams.

jam noun (DIFFICULT SITUATION)

[S] informal a difficult situation: I'm in a bit of a jam - could you lend me some money till next week? How are we going to get ourselves out of this jam?

jam noun (NO SPACE)

[S] a situation in which a lot of people are in a small space: It's a real jam inside - it took me ten minutes to get to the bar.

jam

verb uk   /dʒæm/ (-mm-) us  

jam verb (STICK)

C1 [I or T] to be, or make something, unable to move: The door jammed behind me and I couldn't get out [+ obj + adj ] He jammed the window open with a piece of wood. [T] to stop radio signals from reaching the people who want to receive them: Foreign radio broadcasts were regularly jammed.

jam verb (MUSIC)

[I] to play jazz or rock music with other people informally without planning it or practising together

jam verb (PUSH)

[T + adv/prep] to push something forcefully or with difficulty into something else: He jammed the boxes into the back of the car.

jam verb (FILL)

C1 [T + adv/prep] to fill a place completely: The centre of town was jammed with cars moving at a very slow pace. The motorway was jammed solid (= the traffic could not move) all morning.
(Definition of jam from the Cambridge Advanced Learners Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)
What is the pronunciation of jam?
Browse related topics

You are looking at an entry to do with Difficult situations and unpleasant experiences, but you might be interested in these topics from the Easy and difficult topic area:

Add Cambridge dictionaries to your browser to your website

Definitions of “jam” in other dictionaries

Word of the Day

debut

the occasion when someone performs or presents something to the public for the first time

Word of the Day

Come on – you can do it! Phrasal verbs with ‘come’.

by Liz Walter​,
November 19, 2014
As part of an occasional series on the tricky subject of phrasal verbs, this blog looks at ones formed with the verb ‘come’. If you are reading this blog, I’m sure you already know come from, as it is one of the first things you learn in class: I come from Scotland/Spain.

Read More 

ped-text verb

November 24, 2014
to text someone while walking I’m ped-texting, I’m looking down at my phone, 75 percent of the time.

Read More