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jam (something) down (someone's) throat

1. Literally, to compel or physically force someone to swallow something. I hate how doctors try to jam pills down your throat for even the tiniest of colds. The government has come under fire for ordering prison staff to jam food down the hunger strikers' throats.
2. To force, compel, or attempt to make someone accept, endure, consider, or agree with/to something. I hate going to my friend's house, because his husband's always jamming conservative rhetoric down my throat. Look, I'm just browsing around for a car—quit trying to jam one down my throat!
See also: down, jam, throat

be money for jam

To be a very quick and easy way to earn money. Primarily heard in UK. A: "I'm getting paid to stay in my neighbours' mansion while they're on holiday." B: "Wow, that'll be money for jam!" I love working on bicycles, so this job will be money for jam.
See also: jam, money

money for jam

A very quick and easy way to earn money. Primarily heard in UK. A: "I'm getting paid to stay in my neighbours' mansion while they're on holiday." B: "Wow, that'll be money for jam!" Twenty quid for watching a movie while the kids are asleep? Sounds like money for jam to me!
See also: jam, money

jam sandwich

1. Literally, two pieces of bread with jam in between them. Primarily heard in UK. When I was a kid, my family was very poor, and we ate jam sandwiches every day.
2. slang A police car. Primarily heard in UK. Slow down, there's a jam sandwich up ahead!
See also: jam, sandwich

get out of a jam

Fig. to get free from a problem or a bad situation. Would you lend me five hundred dollars? I need it to get out of a jam. I need some help getting out of a jam.
See also: get, jam, of, out

get out of a jam

Fig. to get free from a problem or a bad situation. Would you lend me five hundred dollars? I need it to get out of a jam. I need some help getting out of a jam.
See also: get, jam, of, out

get someone out of a jam

Fig. to get someone out of trouble. Thanks for getting my brother out of that jam. How am I going to get myself out of this jam?
See also: get, jam, of, out

*in a bind

 and *in a jam
Fig. in a tight or difficult situation; stuck on a problem. (*Typically: be ~; get [into] ~; find oneself ~.) I'm in a bind. I owe a lot of money. Whenever I get into a jam, I ask my supervisor for help. When things get busy around here, we get in a bind. We could use another helper.
See also: bind

in(to) a jam

Fig. in(to) a difficult situation. Mary cannot keep track of the many times Dave got himself into a jam. I found myself in a jam when my car overheated on the highway.
See also: jam

jam session

an informal session where musicians play together. Andy and Nick had a jam session last night and kept all the neighbors awake.
See also: jam, session

jam someone or something (into something)

 and jam someone or something in
to force or compress someone or something into something or some place. Sam jammed all his clothes into the canvas bag. The conductor jammed all the passengers into one car. Don't jam in everything! They had to jam themselves into the tiny room, because there was no other place to meet.

jam someone or something together

to pack people or things close together. The usher jammed everybody together so more people could be seated. Don't just jam the boxes together! Sort them out first.
See also: jam, together

jam something together

to assemble something hastily or carelessly. The fragile contents were just jammed together in one box and everything was broken. The thing was just jammed together with no care at all.
See also: jam, together

jam something up

1. to clog up something; to impede or block the movement of or through something. Rachel jammed traffic up when her car stalled. All the leaves and branches jammed up the sewer.
2. Fig. to force something upwards in haste or anger. Who jammed the window up? Wally jammed up the window and nearly broke it.
See also: jam, up

jam something up something

to thrust something up something. She poked the broom handle up the chimney, hoping to force the bird to fly out. She jammed it up a few times, but it had no effect.
See also: jam, up

jam something (up) with something

to clog something with something. Time had jammed the pipe up with rust. Time had jammed up the pipe with rust. Jam the hole with a cloth so nothing else will leak out.
See also: jam

jam the brakes on

to press down hard on a vehicle's brakes. Alice jammed the brakes on and the car skidded all over the place. She jammed on the brakes.
See also: brake, jam, on

jam with someone

to play music in an improvised band with someone. Andy loves to jam with the other students. Let's set up a time when we can jam with the others.
See also: jam

traffic jam

vehicle traffic that is so heavy and slow that it can no longer move. Going to the airport, we got stuck in a traffic jam for nearly and hour and missed our plane.
See also: jam, traffic

in a bind

forced to deal with a difficult situation Ashworth felt he was in a bind, with two completely different sets of directions he was supposed to follow.
Related vocabulary: in a tight spot
See also: bind

be in (a bit of) a jam

to be in a difficult situation I'm in bit of a jam. Could you possibly lend me some money till next week?
See also: jam

jam tomorrow

something that you want which you are told you will get soon but which never appears Nobody will accept a pay cut, and it's not enough to promise jam tomorrow.
See also: jam, tomorrow

What more do you want - jam on it?

  (british informal)
used to say that someone should be grateful for what they have or have been offered, and not demand something better They've given him a holiday in Italy. What more does he want - jam on it?
See also: jam, more, on, want

be money for old rope

  (British informal) also be money for jam (British informal)
if a job is money for old rope, it is an easy way of earning money Babysitting is money for old rope if the children go to sleep early. Most people think being a professional footballer is money for jam.
See also: money, old, rope

in a bind

Also, in a box or hole or jam or tight corner or tight spot . In a difficult, threatening, or embarrassing position; also, unable to solve a dilemma. For example, He's put us in a bind: we can't refuse, but at the same time we can't fill the order, or Jim's in a box; he can't afford to pay what he owes us, or He quit without giving notice and now we're really in a hole, or We always end up in a jam during the holiday season, or He's in a tight corner with those new customers, or We'll be in a tight spot unless we can find another thousand dollars. All these colloquial terms allude to places from which one can't easily extricate oneself. The phrase using bind was first recorded in 1851; box, 1865; jam, 1914; tight spot, 1852. Also see in a fix.
See also: bind


see under get in a bind.

jam up

1. To become blocked, congested, or clogged: The traffic jammed up on the highway.
2. To cause something to become blocked, congested, or clogged: Some hair jammed the pipes up. You jammed up the drain with leftover food.
See also: jam, up

in a jam

mod. in a difficult situation. I think I’m sort of in a jam.
See also: jam


1. n. a problem; trouble. I hear you’re in a bad jam.
2. in. [for musicians] to play together, improvising. They jammed until the neighbors complained.
3. tv. & in. to force a basketball into the basket; to slam dunk a basketball. He tried to jam it, but blew it.
4. n. an act of forcing a basketball into the basket; a slam dunk. The jam didn’t work, and Fred’s team rebounded the ball.
5. in. to depart. It’s time to jam. Let’s go.


1. mod. arrested. (Underworld.) Willie got jammed for speeding.
2. mod. alcohol intoxicated. I’m a little jammed, but I think I can still drive.
3. Go to jammed up.
4. mod. upset; annoyed. He’s really jammed because he flunked the test.
See also: jam

jammed up

1. and jammed mod. in trouble. (From in a jam.) He got himself jammed up with the law.
2. mod. glutted; full of food or drink. I’m jammed up. I can’t eat another bite.
See also: jam, up


See also: jam


mod. excellent. This music is really jamming.
See also: jam


and jam-packed
mod. full. This day has been jampacked with surprises.



toe jam

n. a nasty, smelly substance that collects between the toes of unwashed feet. Wash your feet, you turkey! I don’t want you getting all your toe jam all over the room!
See also: jam, toe
References in periodicals archive ?
She has refined her skills enough to make a jam in seven minutes, often turning out up to 60 jars a day.
The jams have also tapped into a potentially new younger audience for jam, says Pierce, because of their healthy and fashionable superfruit credentials.
Is it high time the jam sarnie was dragged into the Nineties with a bit of imaginative top spin?
To test gelled preserves, jams, conserves and marmalades, spoon a little of the hot mixture onto a cold plate and refrigerate it briefly until cold.
One can't help being drawn into the extraordinary atmosphere at both jams.
With 23 Resolution Centers across the United States, JAMS and its more than 200 full-time, exclusive neutrals are responsible for resolving thousands of important cases each year.
This grant follows a previous JAMS Foundation grant to the Section designed to help pro bono and legal service agencies improve or develop dispute resolution components for their programs.
Culinar's jam division currently employs approximately 150 people.
Diddy and I'm excited to work with one of the most relevant soul groups of our time, 112," stated Lyor Cohen, Chairman & CEO, Island/Def Jam Music Group.
The announcement marks the fourth high profile appointment made by JAMS in recent weeks: Ambassador Richard Sklar of San Francisco joined the organization in April as head of the newly formed International Practice.
Today's event at Lincoln High School was the first of five LADWP-sponsored Dodger Jams that will be held at Los Angeles middle schools and high schools during the summer.
Fans of the Radio Disney Jams CDs will be on their feet when they hear the exclusive Radio Disney edit "Dance With Me" by Debeleh Morgan plus a couple of hot mixes by Destiny's Child and Tik `N Tak.
JAMS, the leading provider of alternative dispute resolution (ADR) services in the nation, and Poorman-Douglas Corp.
JAMS, the resolution experts and a leading national provider of dispute resolution services, sponsored the survey.