AskDefine | Define jam

Dictionary Definition



1 preserve of crushed fruit
2 informal terms for a difficult situation; "he got into a terrible fix"; "he made a muddle of his marriage" [syn: fix, hole, mess, muddle, pickle, kettle of fish]
3 a dense crowd of people [syn: crush, press]
4 deliberate radiation or reflection of electromagnetic energy for the purpose of disrupting enemy use of electronic devices or systems [syn: jamming, electronic jamming]


1 press tightly together or cram; "The crowd packed the auditorium" [syn: throng, mob, pack, pile]
2 push down forcibly; "The driver jammed the brake pedal to the floor"
3 crush or bruise; "jam a toe" [syn: crush]
4 interfere with or prevent the reception of signals; "Jam the Voice of America"; "block the signals emitted by this station" [syn: block]
5 get stuck and immobilized; "the mechanism jammed"
6 crowd or pack to capacity; "the theater was jampacked" [syn: jampack, ram, chock up, cram, wad]
7 block passage through; "obstruct the path" [syn: obstruct, obturate, impede, occlude, block, close up] [ant: free] [also: jamming, jammed]

User Contributed Dictionary



  • /d​͡ʒæm/
  • - fruit spread
  • - verb
  • Rhymes with: -æm



  1. A sweet mixture of fruit boiled with sugar and allowed to set, often spread on bread or toast or used in jam tarts.
  2. Blockage, congestion; as a traffic jam, paper jam.
  3. In the context of "popular|_|music": An informal, impromptu performance or rehearsal.
  4. A forceful dunk.
  5. A difficult situation.
    I’m in a bit of a jam right now. Can you help me out?


See also


sweet mixture of fruit boiled with sugar
  • Croatian: džem, pekmez
  • Czech: marmeláda
  • Finnish: hillo
  • French: confiture
  • German: Marmelade, Konfitüre
  • Greek: μαρμελάδα (marmeláda)
  • Hebrew:
  • Hungarian: dzsem, íz, lekvár, gyümölcsíz
  • Italian: marmellata
  • Japanese: ジャム
  • Norwegian: syltetøy
  • Polish: dżem
  • Portuguese: geléia, compota
  • Russian: джем
  • Spanish: mermelada
blockage, congestion
  • Czech: zácpa
  • Finnish: tukos, ruuhka
  • German: Stau
  • Greek: μποτιλιάρισμα (botiliárisma)
  • Hebrew:
  • Norwegian: trengsel
  • Spanish: atasco
impromptu informal performance
  • Finnish: jamit
forceful dunk in basketball
  • Finnish: donkkaus
difficult situation


  1. To block or confuse a broadcasted signal.
  2. To throw a pitch at or near the batter's hands.
    Jones was jammed by the pitch.
  3. To play music (especially improvisation as a group.)
  4. To get a body part stuck.
    My foot is jammed in the gap between the rocks
  5. To squeeze into a small space.
    The rush-hour train was jammed with commuters.
  6. Often with "up", to cause congestion or blockage.
    A single accident can jam the roads for hours.

Derived terms







jam (Plural: jams, diminutive: jammetje)
  1. jam (consered fruits where no parts of fruits are visible anymore)

Related terms



From Latin iam








  1. An alternative spelling of iam.




Extensive Definition

"Jam" redirects here. For other uses, see Jam (disambiguation).
Fruit preserves refers to fruit, or vegetables, that have been prepared, canned or jarred for long term storage. Jam is made from 50% fruit & 50% sugar The preparation of fruit preserves traditionally involves the use of pectin. There are various types of fruit preserves made globally, and they can be made from sweet or savory ingredients. Jam was one of the first "foods" ever discovered.


Jam contains both fruit juice and pieces of the fruit's (or vegetable's) flesh.
Properly, the term jam refers to a product made with whole fruit, cut into pieces or crushed. The fruit is heated with water and sugar to activate the pectin in the fruit. The mixture is then put into containers. The following extract from a US cookbook describes the process.
"''Jams are usually made from pulp and juice of one fruit, rather than a combination of several fruits. Berries and other small fruits are most frequently used, though larger fruits such as apricots, peaches, or plums cut into small pieces or crushed are also used for jams. Good jam has a soft even consistency without distinct pieces of fruit, a bright color, a good fruit flavor and a semi-jellied texture that is easy to spread but has no free liquid." - Berolzheimer R (ed) et al (1959)
Uncooked or minimally cooked (less than 5 minutes) jams, called freezer jam, because they are stored frozen, are popular in parts of North America for their very fresh taste.


In the U.S. and Canada, the term jelly'' refers to a type of clear fruit spread consisting of firmed fruit (or vegetable) juice made with pectin


Marmalade is a sweet preserve, traditionally with a bitter tang, made from citrus fruit rind (most popularly oranges), sugar, water, and (in some commercial brands) a gelling agent. The traditional British "marmalade" is most commonly from Seville oranges, which are less sweet than dessert oranges. American-style marmalade is sweet and not bitter.


The term Preserves is usually interchangeable with Jam, however some cookbooks define Preserves as cooked and gelled whole fruit (or vegetable), which includes a significant portion of the fruit.

Fruit curd

Fruit curds, primarily lemon or other citrus fruit, contain eggs and butter.

Fruit spread

Fruit spread refers to a jam or preserve with no added sugar.

Regional terminology

The terms jam and jelly are used in different parts of the English speaking world in different ways.
Although both terms exist in North America, the UK and Australia; in the USA most jams are often popularly referred to as "jelly" in a generic way. Meanwhile in the UK, Canada, and Australia the two terms are more strictly differentiated, although the term jam is more popularly used in Australia and South Africa as a generic term. To further confuse the issue, the term jelly is also used in the UK and Australia to refer to a gelatin dessert, whereas in North America the brand name Jell-O is used as a generic term for gelatin desserts and is strictly differentiated from clear fruit preserves.


This section of the article will use the generic term jam unless otherwise noted. In general jam is produced by taking mashed or chopped fruit or vegetable pulp and boiling it with sugar and water. The proportion of sugar and fruit varies according to the type of fruit and its ripeness, but a rough starting point is equal weights of each. When the mixture reaches a temperature of 104 °C (219 °F), the acid and the pectin in the fruit react with the sugar, and the jam will set on cooling. However, most cooks work by trial and error, bringing the mixture to a "fast rolling boil", watching to see if the seething mass changes texture, and dropping small samples on a plate to see if they run or set.
How easily a jam sets depends on the pectin content of the fruit. Some fruits, such as gooseberries, redcurrants, blackcurrants, citrus fruits, apples and raspberries, set very well; others, such as strawberries and ripe blackberries, often need to have pectin added. There are commercial pectin products on the market, and most industrially-produced jams use them. Home jam-makers sometimes rely on adding a pectin-rich fruit to a poor setter; for example blackberry and apple. Other tricks include extracting juice from redcurrants or gooseberries. Making jam at home is a popular handicraft activity, and many take part in this. Homemade jam may be made for personal consumption, or as part of a cottage industry.

Legal definitions

USDA definitions

The USDA treats jam and preserves as synonymous, but distinguishes jelly from jams and preserves. All of these are cooked and pectin-gelled fruit products, but jellies are based entirely on fruit juice or other liquids, while jams and preserves are gelled fruit that includes the seeds and pulp.

European Union directives on 'jam'

In the European Union, the jam directive (Council Directive 79/693/EEC, 24 July 1979) set minimum standards for the amount of "fruit" in jam, but the definition of fruit was expanded to take account of several unusual kinds of jam made in the EU. For this purpose, "fruit" is considered to include fruits that are not usually treated in a culinary sense as fruits, such as tomatoes; fruits that are not normally made into jams; and vegetables that are sometimes made into jams, such as: rhubarb (the edible part of the stalks), carrots, sweet potatoes, cucumbers, and pumpkins. This definition continues to apply in the new directive, Council Directive 2001/113/EC (20 December 2001).

Jelly worldwide

There are a variety of jellies in the cuisines of East and Southeast Asia. Depending on the type, they may be sweet or unsweetened, or neither.

See also


jam in Arabic: مربى
jam in Czech: Želé
jam in German: Konfitüre
jam in Spanish: Mermelada
jam in Esperanto: Ĵeleo
jam in French: Confiture
jam in Croatian: Džem
jam in Icelandic: sulta
jam in Italian: Marmellata
jam in Hebrew: ריבה
jam in Dutch: Jam (broodbeleg)
jam in Japanese: ジャム
jam in Norwegian Nynorsk: Syltetøy
jam in Polish: Dżem
jam in Portuguese: Compota
jam in Romanian: Gem
jam in Russian: Варенье
jam in Simple English: Jelly
jam in Slovenian: Marmelada
jam in Serbian: Џем
jam in Finnish: Hillo
jam in Swedish: Sylt
jam in Contenese: 果占

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

Great Mogul, Jell-O, Mogul, a mass of, a world of, abound with, afterthought, albumen, arch dam, army, articulate, assault, backstop, baffle, bafflement, bamboo curtain, bank, bar, barrage, barricade, barrier, batten, batten down, batter, be alive with, beam, bear, bear upon, bear-trap dam, bearings, beaver dam, bed, bevy, bewilderment, bind, blancmange, blank wall, blind alley, blind gut, block, block up, blockade, blockage, bolt, bonnyclabber, boom, boost, bother, bottleneck, box, breakwater, breastwork, brick wall, brim, bristle with, buck, buckle, buffer, bulkhead, bull, bulldoze, bulwark, bump, bump against, bunch, bung, bunt, bureaucratic delay, burst with, butt, butt against, butter, button, candy, case, catch, caulk, cecum, charge, chink, chock, choke, choke off, choke up, choking, choking off, circumstance, clabber, clasp, cleat, clip, clog, clog up, close, close off, close tight, close up, cloud, cluster, clutch, clutter, cofferdam, cohue, comfit, compact, complication, compote, compress, concentrate, condense, condition, confection, confectionery, confirm, confiture, confoundment, confusion, congest, congestion, conserve, consolidate, constipate, constipation, constrict, cork, corner, cornstarch, costiveness, cover, covey, cram, crawl with, cream, creep with, crowd, crunch, crush, cul-de-sac, curd, dam, dam up, dead end, debar, deep-dye, defense, define, delay, delayage, delayed reaction, deluge, densen, densify, detention, dig, dike, dilemma, discomposure, disconcert, disconcertedness, disconcertion, disconcertment, disturbance, ditch, dog, double take, dough, dovetail, dragging, drench, drive, drown out, earthwork, egg white, elbow, embankment, embarrassing position, embarrassment, embed, embolism, embolus, engraft, engrave, enigma, entrench, establish, estate, etch, fence, fill, fill to overflowing, fill up, fine how-do-you-do, fix, flight, flock, flocks, flood, footing, force, foul, found, freight, frosting, galaxy, gate, gaum, gel, gelatin, glair, glaze, glop, glue, glut, gluten, gluttonize, goad, goo, gook, goop, gorge, gravity dam, groin, ground, gruel, gumbo, gunk, hail, halt, hang-up, hasp, heap, hell to pay, hindrance, hinge, hitch, hive, hobble, holdup, hole, honey, hook, horde, host, hot water, how-do-you-do, hurtle, hustle, hydraulic-fill dam, icing, imbroglio, impact, impasse, impediment, implant, impress, imprint, infarct, infarction, infix, ingrain, inscribe, interim, iron curtain, jab, jam-pack, jell, jelly, jetty, jog, joggle, joint, jolt, jostle, lade, lag, lagging, large amount, latch, leaping weir, legion, levee, load, loblolly, location, lock, lodge, logjam, lot, lots, maharaja, many, marmalade, mass, masses of, meringue, mess, milldam, miter, mix, moat, mob, modality, mode, molasses, mole, morass, moratorium, mortise, mound, mousse, muchness, mucilage, mucus, multiply, multitude, mystery, nail, nest, nizam, nonplus, nudge, numbers, obstacle, obstipate, obstipation, obstruct, obstruction, occlude, outroar, outshout, overburden, overcharge, overfeed, overfill, overflow with, overlade, overload, overpower, overstuff, overweight, overwhelm, pack, pad, pang, panoply, pap, paperasserie, parapet, parlous straits, pass, paste, pause, peg, perplexity, perturbation, pickle, pile drive, pin, pinch, place, plant, plight, plug, plug up, plurality, poke, porridge, portcullis, position, posture, pother, predicament, preserve, press, pretty pass, pretty pickle, pretty predicament, print, problem, prod, pudding, pullulate with, pulp, punch, puree, push, putty, puzzle, puzzlement, quagmire, quandary, quantities, quicksand, quite a few, rabbet, rabble, radiate, raja, ram, ram down, ram in, rampart, rana, rank, rattle, red tape, red-tapeism, red-tapery, reprieve, respite, retardance, retardation, riddle, rivet, roadblock, rob, rock-fill dam, root, rout, ruck, run, run against, satiate, saturate, scores, scrape, screw, sealing off, seat, seawall, semifluid, semiliquid, send, set, set in, settle, sew, shake, shoal, shoulder, shout down, shove, shut off, shut out, shut tight, shutter dam, situation, size, skewer, slough, slow-up, slowdown, slowness, snap, soak, solidify, soup, spate, spile, spot, squab, squash, squeeze, squeeze shut, squish, stamp, stanch, standing, staple, starch, state, station, status, stay, stay of execution, stench, stereotype, stew, stick, stick fast, sticky mess, sticky wicket, stifle, stitch, stone wall, stop, stop up, stoppage, stopper, stopple, strait, straits, strangle, strangulate, strangulation, stress, strike root, stuff, stuff up, suffocate, supercharge, supersaturate, surcharge, surfeit, suspension, swamp, swarm, swarm with, sweet, sweet stuff, sweetmeat, sweets, syrup, tack, take root, tamp, teem with, throng, throng with, thrust, tidy sum, tie-up, tight spot, tight squeeze, tightrope, time lag, toggle, top off, transmit, treacle, tricky spot, tutti-frutti, unassuredness, unholy mess, upset, wad, wait, wall, wedge, weight, weir, whipped cream, wicket dam, work, worlds of, zipper
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