cham·​ber·​lain | \ ˈchām-bər-lən How to pronounce chamberlain (audio) \

Definition of chamberlain

 (Entry 1 of 3)

1 : an attendant on a sovereign or lord in his bedchamber
2a : a chief officer in the household of a king or nobleman
b : treasurer
3 : an often honorary papal attendant specifically : a priest having a rank of honor below domestic prelate


biographical name (1)
Cham·​ber·​lain | \ ˈchām-bər-lən How to pronounce Chamberlain (audio) \

Definition of Chamberlain (Entry 2 of 3)

Joseph 1836–1914 and his sons Sir (Joseph) Austen 1863–1937 and (Arthur) Neville 1869–1940 British statesmen


biographical name (2)

Definition of Chamberlain (Entry 3 of 3)

Wilton Norman 1936–1999 American basketball player

Examples of chamberlain in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Naruhito will take his seat on the throne, and chamberlains will place the imperial regalia on a table. Washington Post, "How the Enthronement of Japan’s New Emperor Will Work," 21 Oct. 2019 The video link marks an improvement from April, when Emperor Akihito announced his abdication to the sun goddess, from whom he is supposed to be descended, in a ritual observed only by his son, Shinto priests and chamberlains. The Economist, "Japan’s emperor is a prisoner in his own palaces," 17 Oct. 2019 The chamberlain of Prince Rainier of Monaco recommended her for the job. Erica Gonzales, Harper's BAZAAR, "Meet Virginie Viard, Karl Lagerfeld's Successor at Chanel," 19 Feb. 2019 Forced to reinvent himself, von Steuben spent 11 years as court chamberlain in Hohenzollern-Hechingen, a tiny German principality. Erick Trickey, Smithsonian, "The Prussian Nobleman Who Helped Save the American Revolution," 26 Apr. 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'chamberlain.' 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 chamberlain


13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 2a

History and Etymology for chamberlain


Middle English, from Anglo-French chamberlein, of Germanic origin; akin to Old High German chamarling chamberlain, from chamara chamber, from Late Latin camera

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about chamberlain

Time Traveler for chamberlain

Time Traveler

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

See more words from the same century

Statistics for chamberlain

Cite this Entry

“Chamberlain.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 2 Mar. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLA Chicago APA Merriam-Webster

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for chamberlain


cham·​ber·​lain | \ ˈchām-bər-lən How to pronounce chamberlain (audio) \

Kids Definition of chamberlain

1 : a chief officer in the household of a ruler or noble
2 : treasurer city chamberlain

More from Merriam-Webster on chamberlain Encyclopedia article about chamberlain

Comments on chamberlain

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


Test Your Vocabulary

February 2021 Words of the Day Quiz

  • squirrel in winter
  • Which is a synonym of perdure?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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