adj. tam·er, tam·est
1. Brought from wildness into a domesticated or tractable state.
2. Naturally unafraid; not timid: "The sea otter is gentle and relatively tame" (Peter Matthiessen).
3. Submissive; docile; fawning: tame obedience.
4. Insipid; flat: a tame birthday party.
5. Sluggish; languid; inactive: a tame river.
tr.v. tamed, tam·ing, tames
1. To make tame; domesticate: tame a wild horse.
2. To subdue or curb: tamed his explosive anger.
3. To change from an uncontrolled or disorderly to a controlled state: needed some gel to tame his hair.
[Middle English, from Old English tam; see demə- in the Appendix of Indo-European roots.]
tama·ble, tamea·ble adj.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2022 by HarperCollins Publishers. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.