Cambridge Dictionaries online Cambridge Dictionaries online

The most popular online dictionary and thesaurus for learners of English

English definition of “sham”

See all translations

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.
Translations of “sham”
in Spanish farsa, simulacro…
in French imposture, imitation…
in German die Täuschung…
in Chinese (Traditional) 假像, 騙局, 假冒者…
in Russian обман, притворство…
in Turkish düzmece, sahte…
in Chinese (Simplified) 假象, 骗局, 假冒者…
in Polish fikcja, oszustwo…
(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

past participle

the form of a verb, usually made by adding -ed, used in some grammatical structures such as the passive and the present perfect

Word of the Day

Euphemisms (Words used to Avoid Offending People)

by Kate Woodford,
March 04, 2015
​​​ We recently looked at the language that we use to describe lies and lying. One area of lying that we considered was ‘being slightly dishonest, or not speaking the complete truth’. One reason for not speaking the complete truth is to avoid saying something that might upset or offend people. Words and

Read More 

snapchat verb

March 02, 2015
to send someone a message using the photomessaging application Snapchat We used to have a thing until he got a girlfriend. now

Read More