Cambridge Dictionaries online Cambridge Dictionaries online

The most popular online dictionary and thesaurus for learners of English

English definition of “sham”

sham

noun [C usually singular] uk   /ʃæm/ disapproving us  
something that is not what it seems to be and is intended to deceive people, or someone who pretends to be something they are not: It turned out that he wasn't a real doctor at all - he was just a sham. They claimed that the election had been fair, but really it was a sham.

sham

verb [I or T] uk   /ʃæm/ (-mm-) disapproving us  
to pretend: He isn't really upset - he's just shamming.

sham

adjective uk   /ʃæm/ disapproving us  
only pretending to be real; false: They made a fortune through some sham property deal. That jewellery looks sham to me. She's trapped in a sham (= not good or satisfying) marriage.
(Definition of sham from the Cambridge Advanced Learners Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)
What is the pronunciation of sham?
Add Cambridge dictionaries to your browser to your website

Definitions of “sham” in other dictionaries

Word of the Day

for starters

used to say that something is the first in a list of things

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