- the edible, starchy, tuberous root of any of several tropical climbing plants (genus Dioscorea) of the yam family, widely grown in the tropics for food
- any of these plants
- any of various other similar plants, as the barbasco
- ☆ a moist, orange-colored variety of sweet potato
- Scot. potato (sense )
Origin of yamPortuguese inhame, probably ; from West African native name
designating a family (Dioscoreaceae, order Liliales), of climbing, chiefly tropical monocotyledonous plants, including the barbasco
- a. Any of numerous chiefly tropical vines of the genus Dioscorea, many of which have edible tuberous roots.b. The starchy root of any of these plants, used in the tropics as food.
- See sweet potato.
Origin of yamPortuguese inhame or obsolete Spanish igname, iñame, both from Portuguese and English Creole nyam, to eat, of West African origin; Wolof ñam, food, to eat, or Bambara ñambu, manioc.
Careful use distinguishes yams (genus Dioscorea) from sweet potatoes (Ipomoea batatas), while casual American use conflates these.
- (West Cumbria) home.