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Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English
▪ He was a sham and a liar.
▪ She believed Rodney's sudden change in attitude was only a sham.
▪ The competition has been exposed as a complete sham.
▪ The election was a sham. Officials intimidated peasants into voting for the government candidates, or simply stuffed the ballot boxes.
▪ These immigrants entered into sham marriages just to stay in the country.
▪ I carry no brief for smoking, but that report was a sham.
▪ It all turned out to be sham and hypocrisy.
▪ It was an open secret that the marriage had become a complete sham, Watson.
▪ Our so-called democracy is a complete sham and an insult to the electorate.
▪ The shams and the profiteers would also be passed over.
▪ Here we go, Mitchell thought, still smiling with sham crusading fellowship of the heaven-bound yet unable to speak.
▪ The suit said Streich Lang allowed Western to engage in sham real-estate deals that recorded bogus profits.
▪ And they delivered these fibs with such facility that it was clear that shamming to outsiders was the habit of centuries.
▪ But had he really been ill or had he been shamming, crafty sick to give himself extra time in Leeds?
▪ He put them on, and peered round the room, hunching his shoulders, shamming the old scholar.
The Collaborative International Dictionary

Sham \Sham\, a. False; counterfeit; pretended; feigned; unreal; as, a sham fight.

They scorned the sham independence proffered to them by the Athenians.
--Jowett (Thucyd)


Sham \Sham\, v. t. [imp. & p. p. Shammed; p. pr. & vb. n. Shamming.]

  1. To trick; to cheat; to deceive or delude with false pretenses.

    Fooled and shammed into a conviction.

  2. To obtrude by fraud or imposition. [R.]

    We must have a care that we do not . . . sham fallacies upon the world for current reason.

  3. To assume the manner and character of; to imitate; to ape; to feign.

    To sham Abram or To sham Abraham, to feign sickness; to malinger. Hence a malingerer is called, in sailors' cant, Sham Abram, or Sham Abraham.


Sham \Sham\ (sh[a^]m), n. [Originally the same word as shame, hence, a disgrace, a trick. See Shame, n.]

  1. That which deceives expectation; any trick, fraud, or device that deludes and disappoints; a make-believe; delusion; imposture; humbug. ``A mere sham.''
    --Bp. Stillingfleet.

    Believe who will the solemn sham, not I.

  2. A false front, or removable ornamental covering.

    Pillow sham, a covering to be laid on a pillow.


Sham \Sham\, v. i. To make false pretenses; to deceive; to feign; to impose.

Wondering . . . whether those who lectured him were such fools as they professed to be, or were only shamming.

Douglas Harper's Etymology Dictionary

1670s, "a trick, a hoax, a fraud," also as a verb and an adjective, of uncertain origin; the words burst into use in 1677. Perhaps from sham, a northern dialectal variant of shame (n.); a derivation OED finds "not impossible." Sense of "something meant to be mistaken for something else" is from 1728. The meaning "false front" in pillow-sham (1721) is from the notion of "counterfeit." Related: Shammed; shamming; shammer. Shamateur "amateur sportsman who acts like a professional" is from 1896.

  1. 1 Intended to deceive; false. 2 counterfeit; unreal n. 1 A fake; an imitation that purports to be genuine. 2 trickery, hoaxing. 3 A false front, or removable ornamental covering. 4 A decorative cover for a pillow. v

  2. 1 To deceive, cheat, lie. 2 To obtrude by fraud or imposition. 3 To assume the manner and character of; to imitate; to ape; to feign.

  1. adj. adopted in order to deceive; "an assumed name"; "an assumed cheerfulness"; "a fictitious address"; "fictive sympathy"; "a pretended interest"; "a put-on childish voice"; "sham modesty" [syn: assumed, false, fictitious, fictive, pretended, put on]

  2. [also: shamming, shammed]

  1. n. something that is a counterfeit; not what it seems to be [syn: fake, postiche]

  2. a person who makes deceitful pretenses [syn: imposter, impostor, pretender, fake, faker, fraud, shammer, pseudo, pseud, role player]

  3. [also: shamming, shammed]

  1. v. make a pretence of; "She assumed indifference, even though she was seething with anger"; "he feigned sleep" [syn: simulate, assume, feign]

  2. make believe with the intent to deceive; "He feigned that he was ill"; "He shammed a headache" [syn: feign, pretend, affect, dissemble]

  3. [also: shamming, shammed]


Sham may refer to:

Sham (horse)

Sham (April 9, 1970 – April 3, 1993), an American thoroughbred race horse, was one of the leading racehorses of the 20th century but was overshadowed by his more famous peer, Secretariat. Sham was a dark seal brown in color. While racing, he wore green and yellow blinkers. His preferred running style was that of a closer, stalking from behind to make a late rally.

Sham was a large horse at 16.2hh. He also had a very large heart, about twice the size of the average horse's, according to Dr. Thomas Swerczek, a University of Kentucky veterinary scientist.

Sham (film)

Sham is a 1921 American silent romantic drama directed by Thomas N. Heffron and starring Ethel Clayton and Theodore Roberts. The film is based on the 1905 play of the same name written by Elmer Harris and Geraldine Bonner, and was adapted for the screen by Douglas Z. Doty.

Sham (play)

Sham is a 1920 one-act stage play by Frank G. Tompkins. Described as A Social Satire, it was about a thief who is caught robbing a couple's home.

Usage examples of "sham".

The portress was plied with various remedies, and finally underwent a sham operation, crowned with complete success.

But Dad knew how much she would have hated the world to know that the superwoman image of loving wife, devoted mother, shimmering star, had all been a sham.

The park keeps unspoilt its artificial lake, its delusive vistas, its sham ruins, its copied statues and temples.

This is the virile aesthetic and ethic of the extensor muscles -- the bold, buoyant, assertive beliefs and preferences of proud, dominant, unbroken and unterrified conquerors, hunters, and warriors -- and it has small use for the shams and whimperings of the brotherly, affection-slobbering peacemaker and cringer and sentimentalist.

The military threat of these Aethiops is naught but a sham and a bluff.

The linkboy lit two candles and stepped out into the hall, Lewrie following to complete the sham as Margaret began to attend to her makeup and dress.

We took our cue, and a little shamming secured from him tickets which permitted us to take our passage in her.

Tree days after we bring you here de captain he swear you shamming and comed to look at you hisself, but he see that it true and tink you going to die.

The captain came several times and shook me and swore I was shamming, but I only answered in a whisper and seemed as faint as a girl.

And, because I love my sister Shams, I conspire with her in that plan.

You never see Shams or touch her, except with your zab, and it encounters nothing repugnant.

While we lay there, I was conscious of a smeary wet kiss being bestowed upon my belly skin, and then there was a brief rustling sound as Shams scuttled unseen out of the room.

I was relieved to learn that the Princess Shams was not going to be fruitful and multiply her ugliness, thanks to her pomegranate preventive, though by rights I should have been disquieted, because I was thereby participating in one of the most abhorrent and mortal sins a Christian can commit.

Princess Shams should be limited to the enjoyment of any one man alone.

Baghdad, and it was time for me to say farewell to all three of my zina partners: to Moth and Shams and my story-made Shams.