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clam Meaning, Definition & Usage

  1. noun burrowing marine mollusk living on sand or mud; the shell closes with viselike firmness
  2. noun a piece of paper money worth one dollar
    dollar bill; dollar; one dollar bill; buck.
  3. noun flesh of either hard-shell or soft-shell clams
  4. verb gather clams, by digging in the sand by the ocean

Clam noun
Cf. Clamp, Clam, v. t., Clammy.
  1. (Zoöl.) A bivalve mollusk of many kinds, especially those that are edible; as, the long clam (Mya arenaria), the quahog or round clam (Venus mercenaria), the sea clam or hen clam (Spisula solidissima), and other species of the United States. The name is said to have been given originally to the Tridacna gigas, a huge East Indian bivalve.
    You shall scarce find any bay or shallow shore, or cove of sand, where you may not take many clampes, or lobsters, or both, at your pleasure. Capt. John Smith (1616).
    Clams, or clamps, is a shellfish not much unlike a coclke; it lieth under the sand. Wood (1634).
  2. (Ship Carp.) Strong pinchers or forceps.
  3. pl. (Mech.) A kind of vise, usually of wood.
Clam transitive verb
Cf. AS. clæman to clam, smear; akin to Icel. kleima to smear, OHG. kleimjan, chleimen, to defile, or E. clammy.
imperfect & past participle Clammed ; present participle & verbal noun Clamming
  1. To clog, as with glutinous or viscous matter.
    A swarm of wasps got into a honey pot, and there they cloyed and clammed Themselves till there was no getting out again. L'Estrange.
Clam intransitive verb
  1. To be moist or glutinous; to stick; to adhere. R. Dryden
Clam noun
  1. Claminess; moisture. R. "The clam of death." Carlyle.
Clam noun
Abbrev. fr. clamor.
  1. A crash or clangor made by ringing all the bells of a chime at once. Nares.
Clam transitive verb & intransitive verb
  1. To produce, in bell ringing, a clam or clangor; to cause to clang. Nares.

Webster 1913