tam (TAH-ahm) listen
tam (TAHM) listen


  • n. (culinarily and metaphorically) A taste, flavor.

  • n. Shortening of ta'amei mikra.

  • n. A simple, naive person.

Example Sentences

  • "Matzah has no taste, no tam!"

  • "Great music adds a Yiddishe Tam to Yom HaShoah and Yom Ha’atzma’ut events, and all Shabbat programs." (source)

  • "Your daughter’s essay about Pesach was wonderful. I really had a sense of the ta’am of your seder." (JPS)

  • "He was in charge and by default he acted as a tam; but he was nobody’s fool and if necessary could act with shrewdness, and even trickery." (source)

  • "I don't really like the way they've done up the house. It has no ta'am." (Glinert)

Languages of Origin

  • Modern Hebrew
  • Textual Hebrew
  • Yiddish


  • first sense: TH טעם > Y טעם tam, MH טעם ta'am

    second sense: shortening of TH/MH טַעֲמֵי הַמִּקְרָא ta'amei hamikra

    third sense: TH תם > Y תּם tam

    • Who Uses This

      • Orthodox: Jews who identify as Orthodox and observe halacha (Jewish law)
      • Older: Jews who are middle-aged and older
      • Ashkenazim: Jews with Ashkenazi heritage


      • North America
      • Great Britain
      • South Africa


      • Yiddish and English: A Century of Yiddish in America, by Sol Steinmetz (Tuscaloosa, 1986).
      • The JPS Dictionary of Jewish Words, by Joyce Eisenberg and Ellen Scolnic, (Philadelphia, 2001).
      • The Joys of Hebrew, by Lewis Glinert (New York, 1992).

      Alternative Spellings

      taam, ta'am


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