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



    BrE BrE//ʃæm//
    ; NAmE NAmE//ʃæm//
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  1. 1[singular] a situation, feeling, system, etc. that is not as good or true as it seems to be The latest crime figures are a complete sham. She felt trapped in a sham of a marriage.
  2. 2[countable, usually singular] a person who pretends to be something that they are not The article exposes him for the sham that he really is.
  3. 3[uncountable] behaviour, feelings, words, etc. that are intended to make somebody/something seem to be better than they really are Their promises turned out to be full of sham and hypocrisy. His intellectual pretensions are all sham.
  4. Word Originlate 17th cent.: perhaps a northern English dialect variant of the noun shame.
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: sham

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