sham Meaning in the Cambridge English Dictionary

Meaning of “sham” in the English Dictionary

"sham" in British English

See all translations

shamnoun [C usually singular]

uk   us   /ʃæm/ disapproving
something that is not what it ​seems to be and is ​intended to ​deceivepeople, or someone who ​pretends to be something they are not: It ​turned out that he wasn't a ​realdoctor at all - he was just a sham. They ​claimed that the ​election had been ​fair, but really it was a sham.

shamverb [I or T]

uk   us   /ʃæm/ (-mm-) disapproving
to ​pretend: He isn't really ​upset - he's just shamming.


uk   us   /ʃæm/ disapproving
only ​pretending to be ​real; ​false: They made a ​fortune through some sham ​propertydeal. That ​jewellerylooks sham to me. She's ​trapped in a sham (= not good or ​satisfying)marriage.
(Definition of sham from the Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

"sham" in American English

See all translations

shamnoun [C usually sing]

 us   /ʃæm/
someone or something that is ​falselyrepresented, esp. as being ​important or ​powerful: I ​thought the ​meeting was a ​total sham and a ​waste of ​time.

shamadjective [not gradable]

 us   /ʃæm/
pretended; not ​real: a sham ​battle
(Definition of sham from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)
Translations of “sham”
in Spanish farsa, simulacro…
in Vietnamese sự giả bộ…
in Malaysian kepura-puraan…
in Thai การปลอมแปลง…
in French imposture, imitation…
in German die Täuschung…
in Chinese (Simplified) 假象, 骗局, 假冒者…
in Turkish düzmece, sahte…
in Russian обман, притворство…
in Indonesian kepura-puraan…
in Chinese (Traditional) 假像, 騙局, 假冒者…
in Polish fikcja, oszustwo…
What is the pronunciation of sham?
Add Cambridge dictionaries to your browser to your website

“sham” in British English

“sham” in American English

Word of the Day

be nothing short of

used to emphasize a situation, quality, or type of behaviour

Word of the Day

Coffee culture
Coffee culture
by Colin McIntosh,
November 24, 2015
In a study published recently and widely reported in the media, researchers from Harvard University School of Public Health found that people who drink a moderate amount of coffee per day are less likely to die from a range of diseases. Good news for coffee drinkers, who make up an ever-increasing proportion

Read More 

climatarian adjective
climatarian adjective
November 23, 2015
choosing to eat a diet that has minimal impact on the climate, i.e. one that excludes food transported a long way or meat whose production gives rise to CO2 emissions Climate change is not normally on people’s minds when they choose what to have for lunch, but a new diet is calling for

Read More