1. Machinery. a disk or cylinder having an irregular form such that its motion, usually rotary, gives to a part or parts in contact with it a specific rocking or reciprocating motion.
  2. Automotive Slang. camshaft.

verb (used with object), cammed, camĀ·ming.

  1. to provide (a machine part or mechanism) with a cam or cams.


  1. a slider or roller attached to a rotating shaft to give a particular type of reciprocating motion to a part in contact with its profile


  1. a river in E England, in Cambridgeshire, flowing through Cambridge to the River Ouse. Length: about 64 km (40 miles)

abbreviation for

  1. complementary and alternative medicine
  2. computer-aided manufacture
  3. botany crassulacean acid metabolism: a form of photosynthesis, first described in crassulaceous plants, in which carbon dioxide is taken up only at night
  4. Cameroon (international car registration)

abbreviation of camera, by 1990.


“a projecting part of a rotating machinery,” 1777, from Dutch cam “cog of a wheel,” originally “comb;” cognate of English comb (n.). This might have combined with English camber “having a slight arch;” or the whole thing could be from camber.

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