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

glacial

made or left by a glacier

Word of the Day

Let’s celebrate! (words and phrases for parties)

by Kate Woodford,
December 17, 2014
​​​ With Christmas and New Year almost upon us, we thought it a good time to look at the language of parties and celebrations. First, let’s start with the word ‘party’ itself. To have or throw a party or, less commonly, to give a party is to arrange a party: We’re having a

Read More 

cinderella surgery noun

December 15, 2014
cosmetic surgery to the feet We have all heard of people having nose jobs, boob jobs and liposuction – but now a new trend growing in popularity in America: Cinderella surgery.

Read More