Cambridge Dictionaries online Cambridge Dictionaries online

The most popular online dictionary and thesaurus for learners of English

English definition of “jam”

See all translations

jam

noun uk   /dʒæm/ us  

jam noun (FOOD)

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

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 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?
Add Cambridge dictionaries to your browser to your website

Definitions of “jam” in other dictionaries

Word of the Day

be in/out of luck

to be able/unable to have or do what you want

Word of the Day

A certain je ne sais quoi: French words and phrases used in English

by Liz Walter,
January 21, 2015
It is an odd irony that the more sophisticated your use of English is, the more likely you are to use French words and phrases. Or, to be more accurate, ones you know to be French – words such as ballet, au pair, abattoir, fiancé, café, and restaurant are so entrenched in

Read More 

micro pig noun

January 26, 2015
an extremely small pig, bred to be a pet Micro pigs have become popular pets recently, with famous owners including Victoria Beckham, Paris Hilton and Olympic diver, Tom Daley.

Read More