cam·​era | \ ˈkam-rə How to pronounce camera (audio) , ˈka-mə-rə\

Definition of camera

1a : a device that consists of a lightproof chamber with an aperture fitted with a lens and a shutter through which the image of an object is projected onto a surface for recording (as on a photosensitive film or an electronic sensor) or for translation into electrical impulses (as for television broadcast)
2 : the treasury department of the papal curia
off camera
1 : while not being filmed by a television or movie camera he's a different person off camera
2 : outside the scope of a television or movie camera sounds of gunfire taking place off camera
on camera
1 : before a live television camera go on camera also : while being filmed by a television or movie camera looked relaxed on camera
2 : within the scope of a television or movie camera you can hear a dog but he never appears on camera

Examples of camera in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

Todd Spitzer and Fullerton Police Chief Robert Dunn to view the body camera video. Alex Wigglesworth,, "Body camera video appears to show 17-year-old pointing replica gun at officer before she is shot, police say," 12 July 2019 Imagine a world in which cameras equipped with facial recognition were ubiquitous. The Economist, "America mulls regulating facial recognition," 11 July 2019 Then the camera gets right up in his face and his voice goes from Spongebob squeaky to a low register with more fry than a Paula Dean dinner party. Emma Grey Ellis, WIRED, "Aziz Ansari's Netflix Special Will Make You Laugh—Awkwardly," 10 July 2019 Most choose to give the camera a serious stare — a smile is harder to hold for a long period of time. Emily Sabens, Indianapolis Star, "'You just see people as people': See photos this artist created with 1800s technology," 10 July 2019 Tempe police released three body-camera videos Wednesday night. Brieanna J. Frank, azcentral, "Phoenix couple in viral police video criticizes release of Tempe DUI video," 4 July 2019 Jennifer Ciaccia said no police report, body camera video or other documentation exists related to any incident involving Hunt. Mary Kay Cabot,, "The Browns have talked to Kareem Hunt about his incident outside a Cleveland bar, but won’t comment further for now," 1 July 2019 Security camera video shows Gauvin’s 2-year old son opening the front gate and Angel squeezing through. Lance Hernandez, The Denver Post, "Denver police looking for hit-and-run driver who struck van, then ran over and killed a dog," 27 June 2019 The Fort Worth Police Department released 68 minutes of body camera video of the moments before JaQuavion Slaton was shot on June 9. Fox News, "Deadly Texas police shooting of armed man inside truck captured on video," 26 June 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'camera.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of camera

1566, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for camera

Late Latin, room — more at chamber

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about camera

Statistics for camera

Last Updated

17 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for camera

The first known use of camera was in 1566

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for camera



English Language Learners Definition of camera

: a device that is used for taking photographs or for making movies, television programs, etc.


cam·​era | \ ˈkam-rə How to pronounce camera (audio) \

Kids Definition of camera

1 : a device that has a lens on one side to let light in and is used for taking pictures
2 : the part of a television sending device in which the image to be sent out is formed

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on camera

Spanish Central: Translation of camera

Nglish: Translation of camera for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of camera for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about camera

Comments on camera

What made you want to look up camera? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


something desired as essential

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

What's that Smell?! Quiz

  • wide eyed dog smelling rose
  • Someone who is hircine smells like a:
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

Word Winder's CrossWinder

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!