cham·​ber | \ ˈchām-bər How to pronounce chamber (audio) \

Definition of chamber

 (Entry 1 of 3)

1 : room especially : bedroom
2 : a natural or artificial enclosed space or cavity
3a : a hall for the meetings of a deliberative, legislative, or judicial body the senate chamber
b : a room where a judge transacts business usually used in plural
c : the reception room of a person of rank or authority
4a : a legislative or judicial body especially : either of the houses of a bicameral legislature
b : a voluntary board or council
5a : the part of the bore of a gun that holds the charge
b : a compartment in the cartridge cylinder of a revolver


chambered; chambering\ ˈchām-​b(ə-​)riŋ How to pronounce chamber (audio) \

Definition of chamber (Entry 2 of 3)

transitive verb

1 : to place in or as if in a chamber : house
2 : to serve as a chamber for especially : to accommodate in the chamber of a firearm



Definition of chamber (Entry 3 of 3)

: being, relating to, or performing chamber music

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Other Words from chamber


chambered \ ˈchām-​bərd How to pronounce chamber (audio) \ adjective

Examples of chamber in a Sentence

Noun He put three bullets into the chamber of the gun. the chambers of the heart We waited for the senator outside the Senate chamber. The U.S. legislature is separated into two chambers: the Senate and the House of Representatives. Verb chambered the lost hikers in the barn until the next morning
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun If Democrats win both races, the chamber would be tied 50 to 50, with Vice President-elect Kamala Harris holding the tiebreaking vote to give Democrats control. Los Angeles Times, "Today’s Headlines: A historic win in Georgia," 6 Jan. 2021 What was treated by the political press as an aberration seems to have read differently inside the chamber. Melissa Gira Grant, The New Republic, "This Isn’t an Insurrection. It’s an Alliance.," 6 Jan. 2021 An Ossoff win would split the upper chamber 50-50 but, as Vice President, Harris would be able to cast a tie-breaking vote. Michael Zennie, Time, "Democrat Raphael Warnock Wins Georgia Runoff, Putting Democrats in Striking Distance of Senate Control," 6 Jan. 2021 Each chamber's operating rules will also be considered, and House Democrats want mask wearing to be mandatory during floor sessions and committee meetings. CBS News, "Pennsylvania legislature blocks swearing-in of Democratic incumbent," 5 Jan. 2021 The votes are brought into the chamber in special mahogany boxes used for the occasion. Tim Darnell, ajc, "What happens Wednesday, when Congress certifies Joe Biden’s win?," 4 Jan. 2021 Lawmakers who might have an active case of coronavirus or other health concerns can vote for speaker from a separated area on the second floor of the chamber, where the public and staff typically view the floor. Susan Ferrechio, Washington Examiner, "Pelosi permits coronavirus-quarantined voting area above House chamber," 3 Jan. 2021 The votes are brought into the chamber in special mahogany boxes used for the occasion. Mary Clare Jalonick,, "Explainer: How Congress will count Electoral College votes," 3 Jan. 2021 The chamber then moved on to override Mr. Trump’s veto on the defense bill. Catie Edmondson, New York Times, "Senate Votes to Override Trump’s Veto of Defense Bill," 1 Jan. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb To fire, hold the action release down and pump once to chamber a round before firing. Jim Baird, Field & Stream, "How to Ready Your Pump-Action Shotgun as Survival Tool for Bear Country," 21 Oct. 2020 Wayne Prender, Textron’s senior vice president for applied technologies, declined to comment on the specifics of the firing system or on the design of the rifles that chamber the new ammunition, which is being manufactured by Olin Winchester. Andrew Mckean, Outdoor Life, "In the Future: Your Deer Cartridge Will Be Plastic," 7 Oct. 2020 In an interview with Begnaud, Griffin police detective Adam Trammell used the same type of firearm Higdon used, a Glock 42, to show how to load the magazine and then pull back the slide to chamber a bullet. Stephen Mccain, CBS News, "Woman who shot and killed boyfriend says she didn't know her gun had a bullet in the chamber," 21 Sep. 2020 With upward pressure on the magazine, use your firing hand thumb to sweep the slide release downward to close the slide and chamber a fresh round. Chris Mudgett, Outdoor Life, "You Just Purchased a Handgun for Personal Defense, Now What?," 1 July 2020 Signage is free to chamber members, $10 to others particpating in the effort. Yvette Orozco, Houston Chronicle, "Pearland businesses to community: ‘Yes, we’re open’," 5 June 2020 Small revolvers, like Ruger’s LCR and the Smith & Wesson Bodyguard, are light, concealable, and controllable unless chambered for the .357 Magnum. Richard Mann, Field & Stream, "The Beginner’s Guide to Concealed Carry," 16 Apr. 2020 In 1970, Jack O’Connor, who was a major force behind the .270’s ascendance, said that by his estimation, more custom sporting rifles had been chambered in that cartridge than in any other in the postwar years. John B. Snow, Field & Stream, "How the Brand-New 27 Nosler Revives the .277," 21 Feb. 2020 The rifle weighs less than 6.5 pounds, has a folding stock, one-piece receiver, and is chambered for the 6.5 Creedmoor, .308 Winchester, and Sig Sauer’s new high-pressure cartridge, the 277 Sig Fury. Richard Mann, Field & Stream, "Best New Hunting Rifles of the 2020 SHOT Show," 21 Jan. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective One of those plugs incorporates a passive pre-chamber ignition system. Mike Duff, Car and Driver, "Maserati MC20, an Elegant Mid-Engined Supercar, Could Herald a Renaissance," 9 Sep. 2020 If there is any doubt of this technology's value, know that Formula 1 engines use pre-chamber ignition. Mike Duff, Car and Driver, "Maserati MC20, an Elegant Mid-Engined Supercar, Could Herald a Renaissance," 9 Sep. 2020 Maserati has employed a dual-spark-plug configuration with an innovative pre-chamber combustion system integrated into the cylinder heads. David Beard, Car and Driver, "Maserati Unveils 621-HP V-6 for the Upcoming MC20 Sports Coupe," 2 July 2020

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

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First Known Use of chamber


13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1568, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1706, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for chamber


Middle English chambre, from Anglo-French, from Late Latin camera, from Latin, arched roof, from Greek kamara vault

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Time Traveler for chamber

Time Traveler

The first known use of chamber was in the 13th century

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Statistics for chamber

Last Updated

12 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Chamber.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 17 Jan. 2021.

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More Definitions for chamber


How to pronounce chamber (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of chamber

: a small space inside something (such as a machine or your body)
: a usually large room where members of a government group (such as a legislature) have meetings
: a group of people who form part of a government


cham·​ber | \ ˈchām-bər How to pronounce chamber (audio) \

Kids Definition of chamber

1 : an enclosed space, cavity, or compartment the chambers of the heart
2 : a room in a house and especially a bedroom
3 : a room used for a special purpose the pyramid's burial chamber
4 : a meeting hall of a government body the Senate chamber
5 : a room where a judge conducts business outside of the courtroom
6 : a group of people organized into a lawmaking body The Senate and the House of Representatives make up the two chambers of the United States legislature.
7 : a board or council of volunteers (as businessmen)

Other Words from chamber

chambered \ -​bərd \ adjective a chambered shell


cham·​ber | \ ˈchām-bər How to pronounce chamber (audio) \

Medical Definition of chamber

: an enclosed space within the body of an animal — see anterior chamber, posterior chamber, pulp chamber, vitreous chamber

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Legal Definition of chamber

1 : a judge's office specifically : the private office where a judge carries on business other than court sessions (as conferences or signing papers) usually used in pl. four other judges met in my chambers— R. H. Bork a hearing in chambers
2a : a hall for the meetings of a deliberative, legislative, or judicial body or assembly to run back into the House chamber— Tip O'Neill
b : a legislative or judicial body : house

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