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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)
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