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tame

Syllabification: tame
Pronunciation: /tām
 
/

Definition of tame in English:

adjective

1(Of an animal) not dangerous or frightened of people; domesticated: the fish are so tame you have to push them away from your face mask
More example sentences
  • Be aware that injured animals, even tame pets will bite savagely if given a chance.
  • Instead of importing tame pigs, people from several different countries domesticated the animals themselves.
  • One internet site agrees, declaring the animals to be ‘noble and tame dogs with the family, but distrustful of strangers’.
Synonyms
domesticated, domestic, docile, tamed, broken, trained;
gentle, mild;
pet, housebroken;
chiefly British house-trained
1.1Not exciting, adventurous, or controversial: network TV on Saturday night is a pretty tame affair
More example sentences
  • Overall it was a rather tame affair with no controversy on any subject.
  • It was a pretty tame affair compared to last year.
  • The subpoena hearing, which is normally a tame affair, was contentious because the music industry sees it as a test case.
Synonyms
harmless, safe, inoffensive
1.2 informal (Of a person) willing to cooperate.
Example sentences
  • She's intending to visit again, with a sister in-tow, and possibly once more with a tame builder who will advise her on the practicability of extending the house.
  • So I think there are a number of people within the Met who are feeding information to what they regard as tame reporters.
  • The biotech companies and their tame scientists are using other people's poverty to engineer their own enrichment.
Synonyms
2North American (Of a plant) produced by cultivation.
Example sentences
  • My family moved to this location about 3 years ago when there wasn't a single tame plant on the place.
  • Residual vegetation forming a matted mulch was likewise a determinant of nest density and success in tame plant communities, with smooth brome demonstrating greatest nest density.
  • I suspect that people haven't had enough practice with it as a tame plant to know its best habits and favorite conditions, though they're easy enough to see in the wild.
2.1(Of land) cultivated.
Example sentences
  • We want to have a nice combination of wild & tame land, where we can build up the soil of the ‘farm’ and also replenish trees, provide a habitat for wildlife, and generally be good stewards of this little plot of earth we've been blessed with.
  • But this time around caring for each individual needs was not that easy, and his once tame land started to grow unmanageable and wild.
  • The traces of their times were left here even by citizens of the mighty Roman empire, who were encouraged to settle in this area by riches of nature, fertile land, forests and rivers, which were for centuries a magical attraction for people who settled on this tame land.

verb

[with object] Back to top  
1Domesticate (an animal): wild rabbits can be kept in captivity and eventually tamed
More example sentences
  • Wild crops such as wheat and barley began to be cultivated, and wild animals such as sheep and goats were tamed and then domesticated.
  • The Asian elephant featured strongly in Buddhism and Brahminism and the elephants were tamed and domesticated to be able to be used efficiently.
  • Some live out their circus fantasies by taming lions or elephants, but aerial acts combine macho cool and athletic grace.
Synonyms
domesticate, break, train, master, subdue
1.1Make less powerful and easier to control: the battle to tame inflation
More example sentences
  • The last time police repression was used to tame the powerful Italian left was in the 1970s.
  • Isn't it also about - or I should say, how do you avoid it being about mind over matter, you know, that old Western paradigm of the rational mind controlling or taming the body?
  • I was working on taming my out of control curly black hair, it wasn't going so well, I had given up on trying to blow dry it straight, so I just let it go.
Synonyms
subdue, curb, control, calm, master, moderate, overcome, discipline, suppress, repress, mellow, temper, soften, bridle, get a grip on
informal lick
1.2Cultivate (land or wilderness).
Example sentences
  • Almost all had nice gardens, the North African wilderness tamed into something of which she might have approved.
  • Has the land been tamed once it has been so marked?
  • The tractors roared toward darkness, the land is tamed once again.

Origin

Old English tam (adjective), temmian (verb), of Germanic origin; related to Dutch tam and German zahm, from an Indo-European root shared by Latin domare and Greek daman 'tame, subdue'.

Derivatives

tamable

1
(also tameable) adjective
Example sentences
  • His wit, literary allusions and breezy writing style help turn a cumbersome, complicated and sometimes mysterious computer application into a tamable beast.
  • The mother will probably not be tameable if she's had a litter.
  • So after a few years, it was obvious that they were going to be quite tameable in horticulture, and we just gradually introduced more and more.

tamely

2
adverb
Example sentences
  • But you have to start asking the right awkward questions of the right powerful people, instead of tamely sitting back and waiting for the next press release or leak or blown whistle.
  • The game opened tamely enough with neither side able to dominate and with the line-outs somewhat of a lottery, there was little to rouse the interests of a reasonable attendance.
  • He should have done better than shoot tamely at the keeper following an incisive one-touch move 20 minutes into the half.

tameness

3
noun
Example sentences
  • And I was looking at the evenness of the traffic, the tameness of their progress homeward and I realized most of these people actually wanted these simple, level-headed, mostly ordinary lives.
  • One of the special traits of this crane species is that they pair for life and conjugal devotion has won popular reverence and protection, resulting in tameness and lack of fear of human beings, say research scholars.
  • Early European explorers were amazed at the tameness of the wildlife and attributed it to a lack of predators - including humans.

tamer

4
noun
Example sentences
  • The days of lion tamers and dancing elephants seem to be well and truly gone, and the stars of the modern circus seem to be the weird and wonderful talents of gifted human beings.
  • This was the result of the elephant tamers chaining the animal in order to restrict its movements, when it was very young and impressionable.
  • He had also become a reliable wild animal tamer.

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