cam


From The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:

Cam \Cam\ (k[a^]m), n. [Dan. kam comb, ridge; or cf. W., Gael.,
   and Ir., cam bent. See 1st Comb.]
   1. (Med.)
      (a) A turning or sliding piece which, by the shape of its
          periphery or face, or a groove in its surface, imparts
          variable or intermittent motion to, or receives such
          motion from, a rod, lever, or block brought into
          sliding or rolling contact with it.
      (b) A curved wedge, movable about an axis, used for
          forcing or clamping two pieces together.
      (c) A projecting part of a wheel or other moving piece so
          shaped as to give alternate or variable motion to
          another piece against which it acts.
          [1913 Webster]

   Note: Cams are much used in machinery involving complicated,
         and irregular movements, as in the sewing machine, pin
         machine, etc.
         [1913 Webster]

   2. A ridge or mound of earth. [Prov. Eng.] --Wright.
      [1913 Webster]

   Cam wheel (Mach.), a wheel with one or more projections
      (cams) or depressions upon its periphery or upon its face;
      one which is set or shaped eccentrically, so that its
      revolutions impart a varied, reciprocating, or
      intermittent motion.
      [1913 Webster]
.

From The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:

Cam \Cam\, a. [See Kam.]
   Crooked. [Obs.]
   [1913 Webster]
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