Definition of spam noun from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary



    BrE BrE//spæm//
    ; NAmE NAmE//spæm//
    [uncountable] Email, Meat, Marketing
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  1. 1Spam™ finely chopped cooked meat that has been pressed together in a container, usually sold in cans and served cold in slices Culture Spam is made mainly from ham (= pig meat) and was widely used to feed US soldiers during the Second World War, when it also became popular in Britain. It is still popular in the US today but less so in Britain. The word is a shortened form of 'spiced ham'. Because it is a simple and cheap food, people often make jokes about it and a Monty Python sketch was set in a cafe where every item on the menu included Spam. This may be the origin of the modern use of the word to mean unwanted emails. See related entries: Meat
  2. 2(informal) advertising material sent by email to people who have not asked for it CollocationsEmail and the InternetEmail receive/​get/​open an email write/​send/​answer/​forward/​delete an email check/​read/​access your email block/​filter (out) junk/​spam/​unsolicited email exchange email addresses open/​check your inbox junk mail fills/​floods/​clogs your inbox have/​set up an email account open/​send/​contain an attachment sign up for/​receive email alertsConnecting to the Internet use/​access/​log onto the Internet/​the Web go online/​on the Internet have a high-speed/​dial-up/​broadband/​wireless (Internet) connection access/​connect to/​locate the server use/​open/​close/​launch a/​your web browser browse/​surf/​search/​scour the Internet/​the Web send/​contain/​spread/​detect a(n) (computer/​email) virus update your anti-virus software install/​use/​configure a firewall accept/​enable/​block/​delete cookiesUsing the Internet visit/​check a website/​an Internet site/​somebody’s blog create/​design/​launch a website/​social networking site start/​write/​post/​read a blog update your blog/​a website be in/​meet somebody in/​go into/​enter an Internet chat room download/​upload music/​software/​a song/​a podcast/​a file/​a copy of something share information/​data/​files post a comment/​message on a(n) website/​online message board/​web forum/​Internet chat room stream video/​audio/​music/​content over the Internet join/​participate in/​visit/​provide a(n) (web-based/​web/​online/​Internet/​discussion) forum generate/​increase/​monitor Internet traffic compare junk mail, spim See related entries: Email, Marketing
  3. Word Origin 1930s: apparently from sp(iced h)am. The Internet sense appears to derive from a sketch by the British “Monty Python” comedy group, set in a cafe in which every item on the menu includes spam.
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: spam

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