campier; campiest
: in the style of camp : absurdly exaggerated, artificial, or affected in a usually humorous way
campy horror movies
campy humor
Witnessing their synchronized routine, he almost expects them to break into some campy chorus line from one of the seedier nightclubs.Margaret Atwood
He could modify his outbursts into what were sometimes hilariously campy performances.Robert Gray
campily adverb
The new film promises to be as campily outrageous as its predecessors. John Stark
… the Addams Family, the campily macabre clan created by the late cartoonist Charles Addams … Margot Dougherty
campiness noun
… hoped to take Rocketeer to a much higher level of sophistication and avoid the campiness of some of the more recent comics-inspired films. Ron Magid
… a power-mad despot, played with exhilarating campiness by John Malkovich. Steven Rebello

Examples of campy in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Evoking the campy creature features of the '50s, Eight Legged Freaks finds the citizens of a sleepy mining town overrun by spiders who have grown to terrifyingly large size after ingesting chemical toxins. Sarah Sprague,, 19 Oct. 2023 A word to the wise: Arrive early to Harman Hall, where the pro wrestling sendup gets rolling a few minutes before curtain with a gloriously campy slate of undercard bouts (in a pre-show penned by Khoshkam and choreographed by Jonathan Hawley Purvis). Thomas Floyd, Washington Post, 8 Dec. 2023 Denim emerged as a standout of the season thanks to her extra-quirky (and always campy) fashion. Christian Allaire, Vogue, 17 Jan. 2024 The result is a painfully self-aware pastiche that fails to capture the acerbic magnetism of the original movie, the campy charm of jukebox musicals, or the real talent of its young cast. Hannah Giorgis, The Atlantic, 12 Jan. 2024 Director Richard Lester's The Three Musketeers (1973) and The Four Musketeers (1974) is the definitive version, showcasing plenty of campy slapstick humor, light political intrigue, and classic Hollywood swashbuckling swordplay. Ars Staff, Ars Technica, 25 Dec. 2023 Nighttime events, most of which cost extra, are campy live tapings that would be repurposed by the network. Doreen St. Félix, The New Yorker, 17 Nov. 2023 The result is all rather campy—and perhaps to some, refreshingly the opposite of the quiet luxury ethos that’s become the new dressing norm. Madeline Fass, Vogue, 6 Dec. 2023 Laferte is identified with her glamorous-to-slightly campy stage looks and her powerful, theatrical voice that lends itself to the melodramatic. Beverly Bryan, SPIN, 5 Dec. 2023 See More

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

Word History

First Known Use

1932, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of campy was in 1932

Dictionary Entries Near campy

Cite this Entry

“Campy.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 28 Feb. 2024.

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