Abarim Publications' online Biblical Hebrew Dictionary
The verb זמם (zamam) means to consider, purpose or devise. It corresponds to an Arabic verb that means to speak or talk, which suggests that our verb originally mainly referred to the negotiating and concocting of a plan among multiple participants.
Our verb may be used for any kind of planning or aiming to do. It's often deployed to describe YHWH's determination to punish or destroy nations (Jeremiah 4:28, Lamentations 2:17 Zechariah 1:6), but also for the planning or scheming of men (Genesis 11:6, Deuteronomy 19:19, Psalm 31:13).
Our verb's derivatives are:
- The masculine noun זמם (zamam), meaning plan or device. This noun occurs only once, and that in a bad sense (Psalm 140:8).
- The feminine noun זמה (zimma), also meaning plan or device. On rare occasions this word may denote a positive plan (Job 17:11) but mostly it's about sinister plans (Isaiah 32:7, Hosea 6:9). This word is so negatively charged that especially acts of sexual immorality are called such: "it is a זמה (zimma)" (Leviticus 18:17); "a land full of זמה (zimma)" (Leviticus 19:29); "for that would be a זמה (zimma)" (Job 31:11).
- The feminine noun מזמה (mezimma) basically denotes a place or agent of זמה (zimma). It may denote YHWH's purpose (Job 42:2), discretion (Proverbs 1:4), evil thoughts (Psalm 10:4), evil plans (Job 21:27), or evil acts (Jeremiah 11:15).
- The masculine noun זמזם (zamzum). Dictionaries don't normally list this noun (as it isn't used in the Bible), but here at Abarim Publications we're sure it existed. Read our article on the name Zamzummim for the details.