clam

\ \ [OE] Old English clam meant ‘something for tying up or fastening, fetter’; it can be traced back to a prehistoric Germanic base *klam-, which also produced clamp [14] and is related to climb. There is a gap in the word’s history in early Middle English times, but it reappears at the end of the 14th century in the sense ‘clamp’, and in the 16th century it was applied, originally in Scotland, to the mollusc which now bears the name, apparently on the grounds that its two shells close like the jaws of a clamp or vice.
\ \ Cf.CLAMP, CLIMB

Word origins - 2ed. . 2005.

Synonyms:
(with glutinous matter)


Look at other dictionaries:

  • clam — clam …   Dictionnaire des rimes

  • clam — clam·a·roo; clam·a·to·res; clam·a·to·ri·al; clam·ber·er; clam; clam·e·hew·it; clam·jam·fry; clam·mer·some; clam·mi·ly; clam·mi·ness; clam·my; clam·or·ous; clam·or·ous·ly; clam·or·ous·ness; clam·our·some; de·clam·a·to·ry; dis·clam·a·to·ry;… …   English syllables

  • clam — [ klam ] n. m. • 1803; mot angl. amér. « mollusque bivalve » (déb. XVIe); rad. germ. klam ♦ Mollusque bivalve marin, coquillage comestible (Venus mercenaria) d origine américaine. ⇒ palourde. Des clams [ klams ]. « des espèces de clams à la chair …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • Clam — (kl[a^]m), n. [Cf. {Clamp}, {Clam}, v. t., {Clammy}.] 1. (Zo[ o]l.) 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… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Clam [2] — Clam, gräfliches Geschlecht in Böhmen u. Österreich, hieß früher Pörger von Höchenperg, u. stammt aus Kärnthen, wurde im 14. Jahrh. von da vertrieben u. die Stammburg Höchenperg geschleift; sie siedelten nach Österreich über u. kauften St.… …   Pierer's Universal-Lexikon

  • Clam — 〈[klæ̣m] f. 10; Zool.〉 essbare Muschel, Venusmuschel [engl.] * * * Clạm,   salzburgisches Adelsgeschlecht aus Berg bei Neumarkt am Wallersee, das im 13. und 14. Jahrhundert den Namen »Perger von Höchenperg« führte, nannte sich nach dem Erwerb… …   Universal-Lexikon

  • clam — [klam] n. pl. clams or clam [< obs. clam, clamp (< OE clamm, bond, fetter: for IE base see CLIMB); with ref. to the action of the shells] 1. any of various hard shell, usually edible, bivalve mollusks, some of which live in the shallows of… …   English World dictionary

  • clam´mi|ly — clam|my «KLAM ee», adjective, mi|er, mi|est. 1. cold and damp: »A frog is a clammy creature. 2. a) soft, moist, and sticky. b) (of bread) doughy. c) …   Useful english dictionary

  • clam|my — «KLAM ee», adjective, mi|er, mi|est. 1. cold and damp: »A frog is a clammy creature. 2. a) soft, moist, and sticky. b) (of bread) doughy. c) …   Useful english dictionary

  • clam´or|er — clam|or1 «KLAM uhr», noun, verb. –n. 1. a) a loud noise, especially of voices; confused shouting or continual uproar: »The clamor of the milling crowd filled the air. b) a shout; cry. 2. Figurative. a noisy demand; popular outcry: »The clamor for …   Useful english dictionary

  • clam|or — clam|or1 «KLAM uhr», noun, verb. –n. 1. a) a loud noise, especially of voices; confused shouting or continual uproar: »The clamor of the milling crowd filled the air. b) a shout; cry. 2. Figurative. a noisy demand; popular outcry: »The clamor for …   Useful english dictionary

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