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yam (n.)

1580s, igname (current form by 1690s), from Portuguese inhame or Spanish igname, from a West African language (compare Fulani nyami "to eat;" Twi anyinam "species of yam"); the word in American and Jamaican English probably is directly from West African sources. The Malay name is ubi, whence German öbiswurzel.

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Definitions of yam from WordNet

yam (n.)
edible tuber of any of several yams;
yam (n.)
any of a number of tropical vines of the genus Dioscorea many having edible tuberous roots;
Synonyms: yam plant
yam (n.)
sweet potato with deep orange flesh that remains moist when baked;
yam (n.)
edible tuberous root of various yam plants of the genus Dioscorea grown in the tropics world-wide for food;
From wordnet.princeton.edu