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From Middle English crammen, from Old English crammian (to cram; stuff), from Proto-Germanic *krammōną, a secondary verb derived from *krimmaną (to stuff), from Proto-Indo-European *ger- (to assemble; collect; gather). Compare Old English crimman (to cram; stuff; insert; press; bruise), Icelandic kremja (to squeeze; crush; bruise).



cram (third-person singular simple present crams, present participle cramming, simple past and past participle crammed)

  1. (transitive) To press, force, or drive, particularly in filling, or in thrusting one thing into another; to stuff; to fill to superfluity.
    to cram fruit into a basket; to cram a room with people
  2. (transitive) To fill with food to satiety; to stuff.
    The boy crammed himself with cake
  3. (transitive) To put hastily through an extensive course of memorizing or study, as in preparation for an examination.
    A pupil is crammed by his tutor.
  4. (intransitive) To study hard; to swot.
  5. (intransitive) To eat greedily, and to satiety; to stuff oneself.
  6. (intransitive, dated, British slang) To lie; to intentionally not tell the truth.
  7. (transitive, dated, British slang) To make (a person) believe false or exaggerated tales.

Derived termsEdit



cram (countable and uncountable, plural crams)

  1. The act of cramming (forcing or stuffing something).
  2. Information hastily memorized.
    a cram from an examination
  3. (weaving) A warp having more than two threads passing through each dent or split of the reed.
  4. (dated, British slang) A lie; a falsehood.
  5. (uncountable) A mathematical board game in which players take turns placing dominoes horizontally or vertically until no more can be placed, the loser being the player who cannot continue.
  6. A small friendship book with limited space for people to enter their information.
    • 2017, Mark Duffett, Fan Identities and Practices in Context: Dedicated to Music (page 194)
      Regular friendship books had a variety of variations, such as slams, crams, and decos.
    • 2019, Manjit Bal, Lovingly Yours - Penpals
      Pen pals also make and pass around friendship books, slams and crams. In recent years, pen pal correspondence with prison inmates has gained acceptance on the Internet.