cam·​as ˈka-məs How to pronounce camas (audio)
variants or less commonly camass or quamash
: any of a genus (Camassia and especially C. quamash) of plants of the lily family chiefly of the western U.S. with edible bulbs compare death camas

Examples of camas in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Nez Perce National Historical Park works with high school students to monitor the park's camas lilies. Eva Lewandowski, Discover Magazine, 11 Aug. 2016 Native Americans built lives around fishing and the seasonal harvest of camas roots and huckleberries. Kirk Johnson, New York Times, 21 Oct. 2022 One of them—a tapeworm Gardner fished out of a camas pocket gopher—turned out to be a species new to science. Amy Brady, Scientific American, 3 Oct. 2022 The large, dense camas patch at Quamash Prairie, according to Zonick, has likely survived since before colonization. Brian Oaster, oregonlive, 13 Nov. 2021 Instead, the small museum space is filled with wall-length images of local natural places, like quiet rivers or meadows strewn with camas lilies. oregonlive, 26 Feb. 2022 En Springfield, Misuri, Terrence Coulter, director de cuidados intensivos de CoxHealth, un hospital de 500 camas, dijo que los pacientes de COVID-19 que llegan al hospital son más jóvenes y están más enfermos que en la ola anterior. New York Times, 3 Aug. 2021 Once one of the most abundant wildflowers in the region, camas lilies have dwindled in number yet remain a common wildflower across the Pacific Northwest. oregonlive, 15 Apr. 2021 In Oregon’s Willamette Valley, annual bouts of fall fire created veldts, typically 10 to 20 acres in size, of nearly pure camas lily, which have tasty roots that Kalapuya families gathered and stored for winter. Kiliii Yüyan, History & Culture, 17 Dec. 2020

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'camas.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


Nez Percé qémʼes, qémʼeš

First Known Use

1805, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of camas was in 1805

Dictionary Entries Near camas

Cite this Entry

“Camas.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 19 Jun. 2024.

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