1. a young sheep.
  2. the meat of a young sheep.
  3. a person who is gentle, meek, innocent, etc.: Their little daughter is such a lamb.
  4. a person who is easily cheated or outsmarted, especially an inexperienced speculator.
  5. the Lamb, Christ.

verb (used without object)

  1. to give birth to a lamb.


    1. the birth of lambs
    2. (as modifier)lambing time
  1. the shepherd’s work of tending the ewes and newborn lambs at this time


  1. the young of a sheep
  2. the meat of a young sheep
  3. a person, esp a child, who is innocent, meek, good, etc
  4. a person easily deceived
  5. like a lamb to the slaughter
    1. without resistance
    2. innocently


  1. Also: lamb down (intr) (of a ewe) to give birth
  2. (tr; used in the passive) (of a lamb) to be born
  3. (intr) (of a shepherd) to tend the ewes and newborn lambs at lambing time


  1. the Lamb a title given to Christ in the New Testament


  1. Charles, pen name Elia. 1775–1834, English essayist and critic. He collaborated with his sister Mary on Tales from Shakespeare (1807). His other works include Specimens of English Dramatic Poets (1808) and the largely autobiographical essays collected in Essays of Elia (1823; 1833)
  2. William. See (2nd Viscount) Melbourne 2
  3. Willis Eugene. 1913–2008, US physicist. He detected the small difference in energy between two states of the hydrogen atom (Lamb shift). Nobel prize for physics 1955

n.Old English lamb “lamb,” from Proto-Germanic *lambaz (cf. Old Norse, Old Frisian, Gothic lamb, Middle Dutch, Dutch lam, Middle High German lamp, German Lamm “lamb”). Common to the Germanic languages, but with no certain cognates outside them. Old English plural was lomberu. Applied to persons (especially young Church members, gentle souls, etc.) from late Old English. Also sometimes used ironically for cruel or rough characters (e.g. Kirke’s Lambs in wars of 1684-86). Lamb’s-wool (adj.) is from 1550s. see hanged for a sheep (as a lamb); in two shakes (of a lamb’s tail); like a lamb to the slaughter.

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