Ask Difference

Jam Definition and Meaning

By Tayyaba Rehman & Fiza Rafique — Updated on March 5, 2024
Jam is a thick, sweet spread made from fruit and sugar, cooked until the pieces of fruit are soft and the mixture has thickened. e.g., She spread strawberry jam on her toast every morning.

Jam Definitions

A preserve made from cooked fruit and sugar.
He made blueberry jam from fresh berries.
A difficult or tight situation.
She found herself in a jam when her car broke down.
To force or wedge something into a tight space.
He jammed his books into the overstuffed backpack.
A gathering of musicians playing improvised music.
They enjoyed a jazz jam session on Friday night.
To block or clog up.
The paper jammed the printer.
To press or push something roughly.
She jammed the button, but the machine didn't start.
An informal musical performance or session.
The band held a jam after their concert.
To fill a space to capacity.
The elevator was jammed with people.
To interrupt or interfere with a signal.
The radio signal was jammed.
To drive or wedge forcibly into a tight position
Jammed the cork in the bottle.
To activate or apply (a brake) suddenly. Often used with on
Jammed the brakes on.
To cause to become unworkable because a part is stuck
The wrinkled paper jammed the copying machine.
To cause (moving parts, for example) to lock into an unworkable position
Jammed the typewriter keys.
To pack (items, for example) to excess; cram
Jammed my clothes into the suitcase.
To fill (a container or space) to overflowing
I jammed the suitcase with clothes. Fans jammed the hallway after the concert.
To block, congest, or clog
A drain that was jammed by debris.
To crush or bruise
Jam a finger.
(Electronics) To interfere with or prevent the clear reception of (broadcast signals) by electronic means.
(Baseball) To throw an inside pitch to (a batter), especially to prevent the batter from hitting the ball with the thicker part of the bat.
To become wedged or stuck
The coin jammed in the slot.
To become locked or stuck in an unworkable position
The computer keyboard jammed.
To force one's way into or through a limited space
We all jammed into the elevator.
(Music) To participate in a jam session.
(Basketball) To make a dunk shot.
The act of jamming or the condition of being jammed.
A crush or congestion of people or things in a limited space
A traffic jam.
A trying situation.
See jam session.
A preserve made from whole fruit boiled to a pulp with sugar.
A sweet mixture of fruit boiled with sugar and allowed to congeal. Often spread on bread or toast or used in jam tarts.
(countable) A difficult situation.
(countable) A blockage, congestion, or immobilization.
A traffic jam caused us to miss the game's first period.
A jam of logs in a river
An informal, impromptu performance or rehearsal.
A song; a track.
An informal event where people brainstorm and collaborate on projects.
We came up with some new ideas at the game jam.
That which one particularly prefers, desires, enjoys, or cares about.
Teaching is my jam.
A difficult situation for a pitcher or defending team.
The pitcher's in a jam now, having walked the bases loaded with the cleanup hitter coming to bat.
A forceful dunk.
A play during which points can be scored.
Toughie scored four points in that jam.
Any of several maneuvers requiring wedging of an extremity into a tight space.
I used a whole series of fist and foot jams in that crack.
(AU) The tree Acacia acuminata, with fruity-smelling hard timber.
He's got more jam than Waitrose.
Balls, bollocks, courage, machismo
I don't think he has the jam.
(dated) A kind of frock for children.
To get something stuck, often (though not necessarily) in a confined space.
My foot got jammed in a gap between the rocks.
Her poor little baby toe got jammed in the door.
I jammed the top knuckle of my ring finger.
To brusquely force something into a space; to cram, to squeeze.
They temporarily stopped the gas tank leak by jamming a piece of taffy into the hole.
The rush-hour train was jammed with commuters.
To render something unable to move.
To cause congestion or blockage. Often used with "up".
A single accident can jam the roads for hours.
To block or confuse a radio or radar signal by transmitting a more-powerful signal on the same frequency.
The government jams foreign propaganda broadcasts.
The airstrike suffered minimal casualties because electronic-warfare aircraft were jamming the enemy air-defense radars.
(baseball) To throw a pitch at or near the batter's hands.
Jones was jammed by the pitch.
(basketball) To dunk.
(music) To play music (especially improvisation as a group, or an informal unrehearsed session).
To injure a finger or toe by sudden compression of the digit's tip.
When he tripped on the step he jammed his toe.
(roller derby) To attempt to score points.
Toughie jammed four times in the second period.
To bring (a vessel) so close to the wind that half her upper sails are laid aback.
To give up on a date or some other joint endeavour; to stand up, chicken out, jam out.
A kind of frock for children.
See Jamb.
A mass of people or objects crowded together; also, the pressure from a crowd; a crush; as, a jam in a street; a jam of logs in a river.
An injury caused by jamming.
A difficult situation; as, he got himself into a jam.
A preserve of fruit boiled with sugar and water; also called jelly; as, raspberry jam; currant jam; grape jam.
To press into a close or tight position; to crowd; to squeeze; to wedge in; to cram; as, rock fans jammed the theater for the concert.
The ship . . . jammed in between two rocks.
To crush or bruise; as, to jam a finger in the crack of a door.
To bring (a vessel) so close to the wind that half her upper sails are laid aback.
To block or obstruct by packing too much (people or objects) into; as, shoppers jammed the aisles during the fire sale.
To interfere with (a radio signal) by sending other signals of the same or nearby frequency; as, the Soviets jammed Radio Free Europe broadcasts for years during the cold war.
To cause to become nonfunctional by putting something in that blocks the movement of a part or parts; as, he jammed the drawer by putting in too many loose papers; he jammed the lock by trying to pick it.
To become stuck so as not to function; as, the copier jammed again.
To play an instrument in a jam session.
To crowd together; - usually used with together or in; as, fifty people jammed into a conference room designed for twenty.
Preserve of crushed fruit
Informal terms for a difficult situation;
He got into a terrible fix
He made a muddle of his marriage
A dense crowd of people
Deliberate radiation or reflection of electromagnetic energy for the purpose of disrupting enemy use of electronic devices or systems
Press tightly together or cram;
The crowd packed the auditorium
Push down forcibly;
The driver jammed the brake pedal to the floor
Crush or bruise;
Jam a toe
Interfere with or prevent the reception of signals;
Jam the Voice of America
Block the signals emitted by this station
Get stuck and immobilized;
The mechanism jammed
Crowd or pack to capacity;
The theater was jampacked
Block passage through;
Obstruct the path
To become stuck or unable to move.
The door jammed and wouldn't open.

Jam Snonyms


A clear or translucent fruit spread made from sweetened fruit juice and set with gelatin or pectin.
She made grape jelly from the vines in her backyard.


A soft food that is spread, usually on bread, cakes, or crackers.
He used a raspberry jam as a spread for his scones.

Fruit Butter

A smooth, creamy spread made by slow-cooking fruit and sugar to a paste.
She enjoyed pear fruit butter on her pancakes.


A type of preserve made from fruit, sugar, and sometimes nuts and spices.
The cherry conserve was a perfect topping for ice cream.


Fruit preserved or cooked in syrup.
For dessert, they had an apple compote with cinnamon.


A spicy condiment made of fruits or vegetables with vinegar, spices, and sugar, originating in India.
The mango chutney complemented the curry perfectly.


A cooked, pickled, or finely chopped vegetable or fruit food item typically used as a condiment.
The cranberry relish was a hit at Thanksgiving dinner.


A preserve made from citrus fruit, especially bitter oranges, prepared like jam.
He preferred marmalade over jam for his morning toast.


Food made by preserving fruit with sugar; jam.
She spread homemade strawberry preserve on her toast.

Fruit Spread

A spread made from fruit and sugar, similar to jam but may have less sugar.
He opted for a low-sugar fruit spread to maintain his diet.

Jam Idioms & Phrases

Jam tomorrow

A promise of something good in the future that is unlikely to materialize.
His promises of getting a promotion felt like jam tomorrow, always just out of reach.

Get into a jam

To find oneself in a difficult or troublesome situation.
He got into a jam when he lost his passport while traveling abroad.

Traffic jam

A situation where a large number of vehicles are unable to move or are moving very slowly.
I was late to the meeting because I got stuck in a massive traffic jam.


Very crowded or full to capacity.
The concert was jam-packed with fans from all over the city.

Jam session

A gathering of musicians playing improvisational music together.
The local jazz club hosts a jam session every Thursday night.

Toe-jam football

A casual, disorganized game of football typically played for fun.
We played a game of toe-jam football at the park, just kicking the ball around.

In a jam

To be in a difficult situation or predicament.
He was in a jam when his car broke down on the way to the airport.

Jam on the brakes

To apply the brakes of a vehicle suddenly and forcefully.
She had to jam on the brakes when a dog ran into the road.

Jelly jam

A situation that is mixed up or confused, like blended jelly and jam.
The instructions were a jelly jam, hard to follow and unclear.

Raspberry jam

A situation or outcome that is messy or turns out poorly.
The entire event was a raspberry jam, with one thing going wrong after another.

Preserve and jam

To manage or juggle multiple tasks or situations at the same time.
As a working parent, she had to preserve and jam to keep up with both her job and family life.

Log jam

A situation where progress is hindered or blocked by a buildup or congestion of items or tasks.
The project faced a log jam when multiple tasks needed immediate attention.

Jam sandwich

A situation where one is squeezed or caught between two difficult or demanding things.
Managing her job and studies, she felt like she was in a jam sandwich.

Space jam

A situation where there is a lack of space or an area is overly crowded.
The tiny waiting room was a space jam, with hardly any place to sit.

Jam of the month

A reference to something that is currently popular or trendy.
That song is the jam of the month, playing on every radio station.

Sweet as jam

Something or someone that is very pleasant or delightful.
Her grandmother was sweet as jam, always welcoming and kind-hearted.

Door jam

A situation where a door is stuck or difficult to open or close.
I struggled with the door jam at the entrance of the old building.

Jam the signal

To interfere with or disrupt a transmission or signal.
The spies attempted to jam the signal to prevent the message from being transmitted.

Jam out

To play music energetically or to enjoy listening to music enthusiastically.
They spent the evening jamming out to their favorite rock band.

Fig jam

An expression used to imply that one is fine or in a good situation (slang).
When asked how he was doing after the promotion, he replied, Fig jam.

Jam Example Sentences

The traffic jam made us late for the movie.
Every weekend, they hold a guitar jam at the park.
She got into a jam when she lost her map.
He loves raspberry jam on his pancakes.
The hallway was jammed with students after the fire drill.
The door handle jammed, trapping us inside.
Her favorite type of jam is made from blackberries.
The printer is jammed with paper again.
They jammed all their camping gear into the trunk.
She tried to open the jammed drawer in her desk.
The band's impromptu jam was a hit with the audience.
He accidentally jammed his finger in the car door.
He jammed his hat on his head and rushed out.
During the jam session, everyone played their favorite songs.
She spread jam on her toast every morning.

Common Curiosities

How is jam used in a sentence?

Example: "She spread strawberry jam on her toast."

What is a stressed syllable in jam?

In "jam," the single syllable is stressed.

How do we divide jam into syllables?

As a single syllable word, "jam" is not divided into syllables.

How many syllables are in jam?

There is one syllable in "jam."

What is the first form of jam?

The first form (base form) of "jam" as a verb is "jam."

What is the second form of jam?

The second form (past simple) of "jam" as a verb is "jammed."

Why is it called jam?

"Jam" is called so because it derives from the verb "jam," meaning to press or crush, referring to the process of making jam by crushing fruit and boiling it with sugar.

What is the verb form of jam?

"Jam" itself can be used as a verb.

What is another term for jam?

Another term for "jam" (the food) is "preserve."

What is the plural form of jam?

The plural form is "jams."

Is jam an abstract noun?

"Jam" is a concrete noun when referring to the food product.

What is the root word of jam?

The root word of "jam" is the same, "jam," from the verb meaning to press or crush.

What is the third form of jam?

The third form (past participle) of "jam" as a verb is "jammed."

What is the singular form of jam?

The singular form is "jam."

What is the opposite of jam?

The opposite of "jam" as a verb can be "unjam" or "clear."

Is jam a vowel or consonant?

"Jam" is a word, not a single vowel or consonant.

Is jam a countable noun?

As a noun, "jam" can be countable, as in different types of jams.

Is the jam term a metaphor?

"Jam" can be used metaphorically, especially the verb form (e.g., traffic jam).

What is the pronunciation of jam?

Jam is pronounced as /dʒæm/.

Is jam a negative or positive word?

"Jam" is neutral; its connotation depends on the context.

Is jam a noun or adjective?

"Jam" is primarily a noun, but it can also be used as a verb.

Is jam an adverb?

No, "jam" is not an adverb.

Is jam a collective noun?

"Jam" is not typically used as a collective noun.

Which article is used with jam?

The articles "the," "a," or "an" can be used with "jam," depending on the context.

Is the word jam imperative?

"Jam" can be used in the imperative form as a verb, as in "Jam the door shut."

Is the word jam Gerund?

The gerund form of "jam" as a verb is "jamming."

Is the word “jam” a Direct object or an Indirect object?

"Jam" as a noun can be a direct object, as in "She made jam."

Which determiner is used with jam?

Determiners like "the," "a," or "some" can be used with "jam."

Which vowel is used before jam?

Any vowel can precede "jam," depending on the context and the preceding word.

What part of speech is jam?

"Jam" can be a noun (the food) or a verb (to obstruct or squeeze).

Which preposition is used with jam?

Prepositions like "in," "on," or "with" can be used with "jam."

Which conjunction is used with jam?

Conjunctions such as "and," "but," or "or" can be used with "jam."

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Author Spotlight

Written by
Tayyaba Rehman
Tayyaba Rehman is a distinguished writer, currently serving as a primary contributor to As a researcher in semantics and etymology, Tayyaba's passion for the complexity of languages and their distinctions has found a perfect home on the platform. Tayyaba delves into the intricacies of language, distinguishing between commonly confused words and phrases, thereby providing clarity for readers worldwide.
Co-written by
Fiza Rafique
Fiza Rafique is a skilled content writer at, where she meticulously refines and enhances written pieces. Drawing from her vast editorial expertise, Fiza ensures clarity, accuracy, and precision in every article. Passionate about language, she continually seeks to elevate the quality of content for readers worldwide.

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