Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A unit of weight in the U.S. Customary System equal to 1/16 of an ounce or 27.34 grains (1.77 grams).
  • n. A unit of apothecary weight equal to 1/8 of an ounce or 60 grains (3.89 grams). See Table at measurement.
  • n. A small draft: took a dram of brandy.
  • n. A small amount; a bit: not a dram of compassion.
  • n. See Table at currency.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A unit of weight avoirdupois,
  • n. A minute quantity; a mite.
  • n. A small quantity of an alcoholic drink.
  • n. A cart formerly used to haul coal in coal mines.
  • v. To drink drams.
  • v. To ply with drams of drink.
  • n. The currency of Armenia, divided into 100 luma.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A weight; in Apothecaries' weight, one eighth part of an ounce, or sixty grains; in Avoirdupois weight, one sixteenth part of an ounce, or 27.34375 grains.
  • n. A minute quantity; a mite.
  • n. As much spirituous liquor as is usually drunk at once; ; hence, a potation or potion.
  • n. A Persian daric.
  • v. To drink drams; to ply with drams.
  • n. same as dynamic ram.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A unit of weight less than an ounce.
  • n. A small quantity.
  • n. As much liquid as is drunk at once; specifically, a drink of spirits: as, a dram of brandy.
  • n. A division (one twentieth) of a raft of staves. See crib, 13.
  • To drink drams; indulge in the use of ardent spirits.
  • To give a dram or drams to; ply with drink.
  • To ascertain the fineness or size of by dram weight, as of a silk thread or yarn.
  • An abbreviation of dramatic and dramatist.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. a unit of apothecary weight equal to an eighth of an ounce or to 60 grains
  • n. the basic unit of money in Armenia
  • n. 1/16 ounce or 1.771 grams

Etymologies

Middle English dragme, a drachma, a unit of weight, from Old French, from Late Latin dragma, from Latin drachma; see drachma.
Armenian, ultimately from Greek drakhmē; see drachma.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Old French dragme, from Late Latin dragma, from Ancient Greek δραχμή (drakhmē, "unit of weight, a handful"), from δράσσομαι (drassomai, "I hold, seize"). (Wiktionary)
From Armenian դրամ (dram), from Middle Persian dram, from Ancient Greek δραχμή (drachmē, "unit of weight, a handful"), from δράσσομαι (drassomai, "I hold, seize"). (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • The collapse of the dram is also a major sign of the global economic crisis in Armenia.

    Global Voices in English » Global Recession: The world is talking. Are we listening?

  • The meaning of which summons was this: -- Immediately after taking soup, it was his constant practice to swallow what he called a dram, which consisted either of Hungarian wine, of Rhenish, of a cordial, or (in default of these) of Bishop.

    Narrative and Miscellaneous Papers

  • The fact that Lainey and Madison seemed determined to stir up dram is annoying!

    Twilight Lexicon » David Slade Addresses Online Rumors

  • Under Illinois law, this type of liability is often known as dram shop liability.

    Illinois Car and Truck Accident Lawyer Blog

  • Dram: the vapours were any form of melancholia or nervous disorder; a frequent excuse for the ladies to take a "dram" -- a small quantity of drink such as gin in a cup or glass sized accordingly.

    The Beggar's Opera

  • The word dram comes from a previous time when alcoholic bev - erages were sold by the dram or small unit of liquid. dram shop liability refers to the body of law governing the liability of taverns, liquor stores and other commercial businesses that serve alcoholic beverages. dram shop laws establish the liabil - ity arising out of the sale of alcohol to visibly intoxicated people or mi - nors who subsequently cause death or injury to third-parties-those not having a relationship to the bar, as a result of alcohol-related car crashes and other accidents. my 17 year old son was the passenger in a car driven by another drunk teen who became in - The dram shop laws are intended to protect the general public from the toxicated while at a party where his parents hazards of irresponsibly serving al - cohol to minors and intoxicated pa - served them beer under supervision. trons.

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  • It costs a pretty penny -- about $600 -- so if you're giving it as a gift, you should stick around until it's opened so you can sneak a dram for yourself.

    Tony Sachs: Single Malt Scotch Makes A Singular Holiday Gift For Your Loved Ones (Or Yourself)

  • WHITFIELD: OK, so the family -- Richard, I'll begin with you -- the family's able to do this or take this route because Minnesota has what's called a dram shop liquor law, explain.

    CNN Transcript Mar 1, 2008

  • The ordinary way to prepare tea is to boil in a suitable vessel as much water as one wishes servings, and when it boils one takes it off the fire to put in the tea leaves in proportion, that is to say a dram three grams or one teaspoon.

    Savoring The Past

  • If I should ever foolishly resolve to make liquor selling my business in life I would join the church in Athens and call my dram shop a dispensary.

    Country life in Georgia in the days of my youth,

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