From Longman Dictionary of Contemporary Englishhamham1 /hæm/ ●●● S3 noun 1 [countable, uncountable]DF the upper part of a pig’s leg, or the meat from this that has been preserved with salt or smoke → gammon a ham sandwich a seven-pound ham2 [countable]TCB someone who receives and sends radio messages for fun rather than as their job3 [countable] informalAPACTOR/ACTRESS an actor who performs with too much false emotion
Examples from the Corpusham• a ham for Easter dinner• On top, place half of cheese and ham.• Bear hams were available from superior dealers in salted provisions.• Thus creating a succulently flavoured ham that goes perfectly with a watercress and avocado salad and a few slices of brown bread.• He gon na give me my ham.• In this case a 101 year old ham, the most ancient in the world.• At Christmas they sent hams and bourbon to the house.• York ham is renowned throughout the world, although other hams are less well known.hamham2 verb (hammed, hamming) → ham it up→ See Verb table
Examples from the Corpusham• For all the kids care he could be Goofy, hamming it up for Mickey Mouse.• Overemphasis, hamming it up, leads to the exaggerations of satire, cartooning, melodrama and farce.Origin ham1 1. Old English hamm2. (1900-2000) Perhaps from amateur3. (1800-1900) ham-fatter “bad actor” ((19-20 centuries)), from the song 'The Ham-fat Man'.