Main meanings of lame in English

: lame1lamé2


Pronunciation /leɪm/

See synonyms for lame

Translate lame into Spanish


  • 1(especially of an animal) unable to walk without difficulty as the result of an injury or illness affecting the leg or foot.

    ‘his horse went lame’
    • ‘I was just reading a report the other day that 24% of all dairy cows are lame.’
    • ‘There were also some lame sheep and others suffering from diarrhoea.’
    • ‘Later it was revealed that the horse was lame and he will now miss the remainder of the 2002-03 season, including his chance at Cheltenham glory.’
    • ‘My daughter was meant to be out today but her horse went lame.’
    • ‘There's a gratuitous poignancy provided by the fact that she's lame, which is no doubt to suggest that she won't be able to get another man - it fell a bit flat for me.’
    • ‘While this was happening on Sunday, with the Rector leading the perambulation, those members of the congregation who are now too frail or lame to do the walk held an informal service in church.’
    • ‘One time, not too long ago, I saw a line of lame dancers unable to participate in class, sitting on the sidelines, questioning when they would return to dance.’
    • ‘She told the court that she was appalled and sickened by the poor condition of some of the sheep and cattle and said that between 15 and 20 per cent of the animals were lame.’
    • ‘A President Kerry will make the lame walk and the blind see!’
    • ‘Pat Behan, a Castledermot mechanic, who could make the lame walk, the dumb speak and the deaf hear when it came to cars, was asked to perform a major miracle.’
    • ‘The passage assumes that the blind will, in fact, want their sight back and the deaf to hear again, the lame to walk properly and dumb to speak.’
    • ‘Slightly lame in his right leg after suffering from polio, Bruce said the idea really appealed to him.’
    • ‘The four-year-old son of Scenic appeared perceptibly lame in his right hind leg during the broadcast.’
    • ‘Lame from birth, he spent his life attempting to become a man of action.’
    • ‘But alarm bells began ringing in January last year when Dolly become lame in one leg and was found to have arthritis.’
    • ‘That evening at a dinner in honor of his homecoming, Jervas narrates the tale of his life, beginning with his being rendered lame by breaking his leg while intoxicated.’
    • ‘Though born lame in one leg, and displaying a streak of romanticism, Agesilaus was typically Spartan in his qualities and limitations.’
    • ‘‘He was a little bit lame after the race but now he's fine,’ Pletcher said.’
    • ‘Miss Potential, who suffered a broken cannon bone last year, crossed the line last, and was found to be lame in the left foreleg.’
    • ‘My friend looked and walked like an exceedingly tall, lame ostrich with his legs hopelessly entangled in brightly colored cloth.’
    limping, hobbling
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1(of a leg or foot) affected by injury or illness.
      ‘despite his lame leg, he fled’
      • ‘However he realised that it just would not be that easy, for he himself had a lame leg and could only move slowly.’
      • ‘More than 60 people came for faith healing, including a blind boy, a boy with a lame leg, an old woman with a headache and a man with piles.’
      • ‘He took a step, dragging his lame leg behind him.’
      • ‘It's helping me stay balanced, which is hard with a lame foot - balanced both emotionally and physically.’
      • ‘I was on edge, waiting for the sound of that lame foot being dragged on the floor.’
      • ‘Through the half-open door, she heard the unmistakable tread of Justus the steward, dragging one lame foot on the stone path through the kitchen garden.’
      • ‘She ducked behind a bush, and knelt, weary of walking on her lame foot.’
      • ‘Her head bowed and eyes cast down, she made a poor figure upon the pedestal, and most people did not look twice after seeing her lame foot.’
      • ‘Whatever injuries he may have sustained on the escape from Afghanistan (remember the lame arm) is clearly healed.’
      • ‘The well was located near the center of their village and the healer's house wasn't too far away, but walking back with extra weight on a lame foot was not her idea of fun.’
      • ‘His foot was seemingly lame, eyes hollow, face drooping with age.’
  • 2(of something intended to be entertaining) uninspiring and dull.

    ‘I found the programme pretty lame and not very informative’
    • ‘I made really stupid posters with lame slogans’
    • ‘Contemporary Christian music may be lame and uninspiring, but the answer is not to be found in longing, naively and uncritically, for mainstream success.’
    • ‘I think most of it is completely lame and uninteresting until we get down to Hard Acid Techno and VGM (Video Game Music).’
    • ‘I also hate Popstars Live, because it is lame, and boring.’
    • ‘A damning indictment for a Paul Bartel film, Lust in the Dust is found guilty of being bland and lame.’
    • ‘At its best, The Ring is just another lame and boring attempt at making a scary movie.’
    • ‘I hear it from people all the time: Reality TV's lame, it's boring, and there's just so darn much of it.’
    • ‘It was really, really stupid, unfunny, and lame - much like the uninspired sex scenes throughout the film.’
    • ‘The three of us all laughed at my rather lame joke, then my mother continued conversation.’
    • ‘I raised my eyebrow at the sound of the program, it sounded incredibly lame.’
    • ‘Sometimes its good stuff, mostly its really lame corny jokes.’
    • ‘Ridiculously catchy, this'll remind you how fun pop can be without being totally lame.’
    • ‘Is it just me or was that Treehouse of Horror special incredibly lame?’
    • ‘Anyway, lame puns aside, the cast of Hollyoaks have worked a miracle.’
    • ‘Excuse me while I crack up at my supremely lame pun.’
    • ‘Faith paused to chuckled at her lame pun.’
    • ‘But the hair flicking and lame jokes that delight the boys at the Actuary of the Year dinner are gauche and slightly cringeworthy on the stage of a 1,915-seat theatre.’
    • ‘I smiled, a little embarrassed of my lame story.’
    • ‘The comedy aspect is a little lame, with too many one-liners, and the movie is hopelessly trapped in the '80s in almost every way.’
    • ‘They rocked the world with Fantasia and Snow White and Lady and the Tramp, but Mulan and the Lion King and Beauty and the Beast were rather lame as far as I've heard.’
    uninteresting, boring, tedious, tiresome, wearisome, dry, dry as dust, flat, bland, characterless, featureless, colourless, monotonous, unexciting, uninspiring, unstimulating, lacking variety, lacking variation, lacking excitement, lacking interest, unimaginative, uneventful, lifeless, soulless, insipid
    View synonyms
    1. 2.1(of an explanation or excuse) unconvincingly feeble.
      ‘the TV licensing teams hear a lot of lame excuses’
      • ‘Better roads in cities that receive heavier rains are testimony to the fact that blaming the rains is a lame excuse for poor quality of public works.’
      • ‘To say it is impossible to segregate fans is a lame excuse and an abdication of responsibility which will eventually drive away some Bolton supporters from attending altogether.’
      • ‘Do you think that's just a lame excuse or is that true?’
      • ‘Downing Street has a rather lame excuse: ‘The challenges of globalisation have become clearer.’’
      • ‘She cites his frequent absence on film shoots as a reason for the split-up, but I find that a completely lame excuse.’
      • ‘Punters like me are uneasy when we witness things such as hot favourites finishing down the field with only lame explanations offered by trainers and jockeys.’
      • ‘But the lame explanation the Kerry spokespeople have come up with is hilarious.’
      • ‘In his lame explanation he said he didn't remember the plot of the 1970s flick.’
      • ‘Now the congressmen are embarrassed and are coming up with all kinds of lame excuses to explain why they were there.’
      • ‘The following passage is not a lame excuse but an attempt to explain the situation and engage in a dialogue with you.’
      • ‘The lame excuse offered was that the meeting would get out of hand.’
      • ‘He turned up at 3pm, with a lame excuse about having had a puncture.’
      • ‘Why can't they be open and honest, instead of giving lame excuses?’
      • ‘Making up lame excuses for herself is just making her look like an even bigger joke than she already is.’
      • ‘Another of the BBC's lame excuses for going ahead with the episode is that it will not be screened until the autumn.’
      • ‘For the council to say they are waiting for the outcome of pending developments in and around the town is a lame excuse.’
      • ‘Just let's have no more of these lame excuses that it's all someone else's fault.’
      • ‘In other words, having your period is a totally lame excuse for skipping track practice.’
      • ‘Bella thought this was a completely lame excuse to avoid her.’
      • ‘But now, she's all full of lame excuses, especially for Renee.’
      feeble, weak, thin, flimsy, transparent, poor, puny
      View synonyms
    2. 2.2North American informal (of a person) naive or socially inept.
      • ‘anyone who doesn't know that is obviously lame’
      • ‘And a lot of it was conjured by those three lame idiots.’
      • ‘"Hi, " I said and regretted it immediately because I sounded so lame.’
      • ‘He asked, then mentally kicked himself for sounding so lame.’
      • ‘I want to know what shes thinking right now, I'm so lame.’
      • ‘Isn't it a bit lame that I even have to think about this?’
      • ‘As a rule, I've noticed the skateboarders here tend to be lame.’
      • ‘I thought they would hardly do that, but anyway, we had to go back to the lame architect party with our tails between our legs!’
      • ‘Oh, I'm so lame, but that's the truth, silly or not.’
      • ‘Standing around and saying, ‘well, it's up to you’ without lifting a damn finger is a lame cop-out.’
      • ‘Was Edward haphazard, scattered, and more than a little lame?’
      • ‘Music's still good, drinks are still expensive, crowd's a little lame.’
  • 3(of verse or metrical feet) halting; metrically defective.

    • ‘While prosthetic body parts were not the most common early modern representation of metrically unsound feet, Ascham is in ample company when it comes to equating lame verse with human lameness.’


[with object]
  • Make (a person or animal) lame.

    ‘he was badly lamed during the expedition’
    • ‘She did evil acts from laming her horse to using Iolaus to kill his best friend.’
    • ‘Yet, you offered to stay behind at Camelot willingly, when you were not lamed or too young.’
    • ‘In one of the Kerry stories in which the local priest is obliged to resort to the wise-woman when his horse is mysteriously lamed, we are told that many people believed that it was from the Devil that she had her powers.’
    • ‘He was lamed and in pain, and Milo was in a worse state.’
    • ‘What more powerful image of these fears could there be than that of an old, sterile woman, in sexual league with the Devil, killing and roasting babies, rendering men impotent, laming animals and destroying crops?’
    • ‘While conceding the need for security and achievement, Lears bristles at ‘the arrogance of the meritocratic myth’ that justifies inequality, panders to dreams of human omnipotence, and lames any will to generosity.’
    • ‘But before a crucial race against the Triple Crown winner, Pollard breaks his leg, and in the very next race, Seabiscuit lames himself.’
    • ‘Having escaped serious injury throughout his racing career, Tommy was lamed for life through a fall from his hack while riding to the post office in the Curragh Camp.’
    • ‘No matter, Cyril, I'd rather you men took the extra time rather than laming a good plow horse by driving it to struggle through that footing.’
    • ‘No one was there except four serving men - slaves, they looked to be, and one of them badly lamed - who looked up at us from the firepit which they were cleaning.’
    • ‘For example, the ‘dangerous’ practice of wearing heels to the point where they lame you is probably limited to pockets of the corporate world.’
    • ‘The rats then swarm onto and devour any lamed, limping brontosaurus that they come across.’
    • ‘Using her pole as a staff, her temporarily lamed left hand useless at her side, she turned, beginning her hunt for the tricky sorceress and a place to camp once more.’
    incapacitate, impair, damage, put out of action, make powerless, render powerless, weaken, enfeeble, debilitate, indispose, make unfit
    View synonyms


The original meaning of lame ‘not able to walk without difficulty’ has been coloured by the newer meanings ‘unconvincingly feeble’ and ‘uninspiring and dull’ to such an extent that when used of people with a disability it is likely to cause offence. When used of an animal, especially a horse, it remains acceptable


Old English lama, of Germanic origin, related to Dutch lam and German lahm.

Main meanings of lamé in English

: lame1lamé2


Pronunciation /ˈlɑːmeɪ/

See synonyms for lamé

Translate lamé into Spanish


mass noun
  • Fabric with interwoven gold or silver threads.

    as modifier ‘a gold lamé suit’
    • ‘It's sensuous, sensual art, much like Debussy and Ravel at the same time, but heavier on the perfume, gold lamé, and red velvet.’
    • ‘Camper than a Christmas tree and fonder of gold lamé than Lily Savage, Bill Kenwright's revival of Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber's musical is full of bare-faced cheek and a highly developed sense of fun.’
    • ‘It is years since I have seen such a delectable array of flesh-coloured tights topped with gold lamé.’
    • ‘The film is a veritable catalog of trashy design motifs from the period - the leopard-lined salon wouldn't be out of place in a John Waters movie, and the couture runs to elephant bells, gold lamé, and K-Mart striped wallpaper.’
    • ‘His short-lived last television series, McCormick Rips, with a peroxide-blond Gary in gold lamé, counted as cruel and unusual punishment to rival anything Ellis can dream up.’
    • ‘This dimly-lit club-bar decked out with gold lamé, mirrors and candlelight has a giant suspended bird cage for the more exhibitionist dancers among you.’
    • ‘In one shot he's wearing an oversized top, and in another he is decked out in a costume which appears to be entirely made out of gold lamé.’
    • ‘Giant phalluses, which would likely once have been constructed out of wood, are still abundant, though they're now wrapped with shiny gold and purple lamé.’
    • ‘A drunken, bleary Jerry Lee Lewis, still clad in gold lamé, clutches a bottle as he staggers down a Memphis street.’
    • ‘If it is an Elvis show I tend to spend the first part of the evening at a champagne reception meeting and greeting the guests dressed suitably in gold lamé.’
    • ‘So, I walk into this place and behind the counter sits a Zsa Zsa Gabor clone in a bright red coat trimmed in gold lamé with enormous fake rings weighing down her heavily manicured hands.’
    • ‘A length of shimmering silver lamé was delivered by the harried pageant coordinator himself.’
    • ‘Gold lamé looks better on drag queens, being the M.C. isn't as much fun as it looks and having your reputation precede you everywhere is actually exhausting.’
    • ‘So there I was in gold lamé and bleached hair, and it was fantastic but it wasn't what I'd predicted for myself.’
    • ‘For very lightweight or ravel-prone fabrics such as lamé, fuse interfacing to the wrong side before cutting.’
    • ‘The brightly colored outfits may be made of either cotton or such dressy fabrics as velvet, satin, and lamé.’
    • ‘For Norma Shearer, he provides more tasteful, simple ensembles that heighten the contrast between her and her frivolous friends - so when she bursts forth in a blaze of lamé, we know her character has definitely evolved.’
    • ‘In particular, much has been said of the dress Wallis wore for the reception, described by biographer Michael Thornton as ‘a dramatic dress of violet lamé highlighted by a brilliant green sash.’’
    • ‘Lightweight knits (i.e., tricot, sheers, fluid lamé or synthetic interlocks) will slip around when pinning and cutting.’
    • ‘Cover the lamé with a press cloth and press the strip in place.’


1920s French, from Latin lamina (see lamina).