Did you know?

Click any word in a definition or example to find the entry for that word

lame - definition and synonyms

What are red words?

90% of the time, speakers of English use just 7,500 words in speech and writing. These words appear in red, and are graded with stars. One-star words are frequent, two-star words are more frequent, and three-star words are the most frequent.

Thesaurus diagram

The thesaurus of synonyms and related words is fully integrated into the dictionary. Click on the thesaurus category heading under the button in an entry to see the synonyms and related words for that meaning.

adjective     lame pronunciation in British English
Word Forms
  1. 1
    a lame animal cannot walk very well because its leg or foot is damaged

    Her horse had gone lame.

    1. a.
      used for describing someone who is disabled because their leg or foot is damaged. This word is now considered offensive.
    2. b.
      used about a foot or leg that is damaged and prevents someone from walking easily
  2. 2
    [usually before noun] a lame excuse, explanation etc is difficult to believe because it seems so unlikely

    It sounds a lame excuse, but I never seem to have time to visit.

  3. 3
    [usually before noun] done without much effort in a way that seems as though you are not trying very hard

    Saturday’s game was rather a lame performance.

derived word



a lifestyle focussing on simple pleasures such as comfort and cosiness in the home, and spending time with friends and family

BuzzWord Article

Open Dictionary


a form of location that involves the underwater detonation of a bomb which causes sound waves that are picked up by ships

add a word


A must for anyone with an interest in the changing face of language. The Macmillan Dictionary blog explores English as it is spoken around the world today.

global English and language change from our blog
Macmillan learn live love play