tom
Pronunciation
  • (British) IPA: /tɒm/
  • (America) IPA: /tɑm/
Noun

tom (plural toms)

  1. The male of the domesticated cat.
  2. The male of the turkey.
  3. The male of the orangutan.
  4. The male of certain other animals.
  5. (British, slang) prostitutes
  6. (US, slang) A lesbian.
  7. (music) Clipping of tom-tom#English|tom-tom.
  8. (obsolete) The jack of trumps in the card game gleek.
  9. (UK, regional, obsolete) A close-stool.
Synonyms Translations Translations Translations
  • Spanish: tamtan
Noun

tom (plural toms)

  1. (British, greengrocers' slang) A tomato (the fruit).
    Toms 90p a pound
Noun

tom (uncountable)

  1. (Cockney rhyming slang) jewellery
Verb

tom (toms, present participle tomming; past and past participle tommed)

  1. (intransitive, derogatory, of a black person) To act in an obsequiously servile manner toward white authority.
Verb

tom (toms, present participle tomming; past and past participle tommed)

  1. (nautical) To dig out a hole below the hatch cover of a bulker and fill it with cargo or weights to aid stability.

Tom
Pronunciation Proper noun
  1. A male given name, also used as a formal male given name.
    • 1605 William Shakespeare, King Lear, Act III, Scene IV:
      Poor Tom's a-cold.
    • 1876, Mark Twain [pseudonym; Samuel Langhorne Clemens], chapter VI, in The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, Hartford, Conn.: The American Publishing Company, OCLC 1000326417 ↗, page 70 ↗:
      "Good,—that's a whack. What's your name?" / "Becky Thatcher. What's yours? Oh, I know. It's Thomas Sawyer." / "That's the name they lick me by. I'm Tom when I'm good. You call me Tom, will you?"
    • 1934, P. G. Wodehouse, Right Ho, Jeeves:
      What I'm worrying about is what Tom says when he starts talking."
      "Uncle Tom?"
      "I wish there was something else you could call him except 'Uncle Tom'," said Aunt Dahlia a little testily. "Every time you do it, I expect to see him turn black and start playing the banjo."
    • 2008 David Park, The Truth Commissioner, ISBN 9780747591290, page 366:
      "We're not sure - we were expecting a girl for some reason. But we're thinking of something simple like Tom."
      "Thomas?"
      "No, just Tom."
  2. A nickname for the common man. [since 1377]
Proper noun
  1. A large, deep-toned bell, or a particularly notable example of one. [since 17th century]
    • 1857, William Chambers, Robert Chambers, "Something about bells", Chambers's Journal, vol. 28, no. 207, page 398 ↗.
      They had a thick rim, and when struck with pieces of wood, gave out a tone deeper than that of some of the Great Toms renowned in belldom.
    • 1857, "An earthquake in Honduras" ↗, Harper's Magazine:
      After these came innumerable little boys bearing little bells, which made little noises in comparison to the "Big Tom" that preceded them.
    • 1825, Moncrieff, "A Parish-Clerk was Johnny Bell" ↗, The Universal Songster (in a song about a man who hangs himself in the bell tower):
      And there little Johnny Bell hung dangling along with the great Tom bell, and all the rest of the bells.
    • 1848, "The book auction of New York" ↗, The Literary World:
      The city [New York] does not know a better auctioneer; the celebrated Tom Bell not ringing clearer.
Related terms


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