Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English homepage

Date: 1600-1700
Origin: Perhaps from sham 'shame' (13-17 centuries), from shame

sham

1 noun
     
sham1
1 [singular] someone or something that is not what they are claimed to be - used to show disapproval:
The elections were a complete sham.
2 [uncountable] literary when someone tries to make something or someone seem better than they really are:
It all turned out to be sham and hypocrisy.
3 [countable] a cover for a pillow, especially one used for decoration

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