Definition of jam verb from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary



    BrE BrE//dʒæm//
    ; NAmE NAmE//dʒæm//
    Verb Forms present simple I / you / we / they jam
    BrE BrE//dʒæm//
    ; NAmE NAmE//dʒæm//
    he / she / it jams
    BrE BrE//dʒæmz//
    ; NAmE NAmE//dʒæmz//
    past simple jammed
    BrE BrE//dʒæmd//
    ; NAmE NAmE//dʒæmd//
    past participle jammed
    BrE BrE//dʒæmd//
    ; NAmE NAmE//dʒæmd//
    -ing form jamming
    BrE BrE//ˈdʒæmɪŋ//
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈdʒæmɪŋ//
    Live music, How machines work
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    push with force
  1. 1[transitive] jam something + adv./prep. to push something somewhere with a lot of force He jammed his fingers in his ears. A stool had been jammed against the door.
  2. stop moving/working
  3. 2[intransitive, transitive] to become unable to move or work; to make something do this jam (up) The photocopier keeps jamming up. jam something (up) There's a loose part that keeps jamming the mechanism. + adj. The valve has jammed shut. jam something + adj. He jammed the door open with a piece of wood. See related entries: How machines work
  4. put into small space
  5. 3[transitive, intransitive] to put somebody/something into a small space where there is very little room to move synonym squash, squeeze jam somebody/something + adv./prep. Six of us were jammed into one small car. We were jammed together like sardines in a can. The cupboards were jammed full of old newspapers. + adv./prep. Nearly 1 000 students jammed into the hall. see also jam-packed
  6. fill with people/things
  7. 4[transitive] jam something (up) (with somebody/something) to fill something with a large number of people or things so that it is unable to function as it should synonym block Viewers jammed the switchboard with complaints.
  8. radio broadcast
  9. 5[transitive] jam something (specialist) to send out radio signals to prevent another radio broadcast from being heard
  10. play music
  11. 6[intransitive, transitive] jam (something) to play music with other musicians in an informal way without preparing or practising first See related entries: Live music
  12. Word Originverb early 18th cent.: probably symbolic; compare with cram.Extra examples People constantly jammed the street. The airport was jammed with people trying to arrange flights. The room is jammed tight with furniture. The streets were completely jammed with traffic. The traffic was jammed solid in the city centre. The traffic will just jam up our village. We were jammed together shoulder to shoulder.Idioms
    jam on the brake(s), jam the brake(s) on
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    to operate the brakes on a vehicle suddenly and with force The car skidded as he jammed on the brakes.
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: jam