Definition of hames in English:

Share this entry


Pronunciation: /heɪmz/

plural noun

Two curved pieces of iron or wood forming or attached to the collar of a draught horse, to which the traces are attached.
Example sentences
  • We used to call them ‘haum chains’ and, of course, they were hooked on the hames of a horse collar, the other end went on to the hook on the shafts of a cart etc.
  • They couldn't stop Major dancing about but they still managed to fasten the hames chains onto his collar and the breeching chains onto the hooks further down the shafts and so he was, as they say, ‘yoked up’.
  • Breast collars, which are much cheaper than full collars and hames, are easier to fit and accommodate variety pony sizes.


make a hames of

Irish informal Do (something) very badly or ineptly; make a mess of: Galway made a hames of their chance of a goal
More example sentences
  • The club has found some people reluctant or nervous about taking on this new challenge as they haven't rowed before and feel they will make a hames of it.
  • The major events of life - birth, death and marriage - were mostly arranged and presided over by the women, with the men performing various bit parts - and as often as not, making a hames of them.
  • And if you make a hames of it, you have a brand new crowd in two minutes anyway.


Middle English: from Middle Dutch.

Words that rhyme with hames


For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: hames

Share this entry

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.