< /ni kɔˈlɑ seɪ bɑsˈtyɛ̃/, 1705–78, French sculptors.

  • a male given name.
  • adjective

    1. of or relating to the style of architecture, decoration, or furnishings associated with Robert and James Adam, characterized by free adaptation of ancient Roman forms and interiors treated with delicate ornament generally painted in light, vivid colors.

    1. not know from Adam, to be unacquainted with: He says hello to us every morning, but we don’t know him from Adam.
    2. the old Adam, the natural tendency toward sin: He attributed his wild outburst to the old Adam in him.


    1. Old Testament the first man, created by God: the progenitor of the human race (Genesis 2–3)
    2. not know someone from Adam to have no knowledge of or acquaintance with someone
    3. the old Adam the evil supposedly inherent in human nature


    1. (French adɑ̃) Adolphe. 1803–56, French composer, best known for his romantic ballet Giselle (1841)
    2. (ˈædəm) Robert. 1728–92, Scottish architect and furniture designer. Assisted by his brother, James, 1730–94, he emulated the harmony of classical and Italian Renaissance architecture


    1. in the neoclassical style made popular by Robert Adam

    masc. proper name, Biblical name of the first man, from Hebrew adam “man,” literally “(the one formed from the) ground” (Hebrew adamah “ground”); cf. Latin homo “man,” humanus “human,” humus “earth, ground, soil.” To not know (someone) from Adam “not know him at all” is first recorded 1784.

    see not know from Adam.

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