cham·​ber·​lain ˈchām-bər-lən How to pronounce chamberlain (audio)
: an attendant on a sovereign or lord in his bedchamber
: a chief officer in the household of a king or nobleman
: an often honorary papal attendant
specifically : a priest having a rank of honor below domestic prelate

Examples of chamberlain in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web This symbiotic relationship between the military and the monarch was underscored in September when Apirat Kongsompong, the commander in chief of the Royal Thai Army, retired from the military only to be immediately appointed vice chamberlain of the palace’s Royal Household Bureau. Hannah Beech, New York Times, 2 Nov. 2020 And also Denzel Washington as the female pope’s chamberlain, and Madonna as her mother. Nick Vivarelli, Variety, 19 Jan. 2023 In late 1318, a man named Hugh Despenser became Edward’s new chamberlain and, shortly thereafter, became Edward’s new favorite. Anne Thériault, Longreads, 21 June 2022 Naruhito will take his seat on the throne, and chamberlains will place the imperial regalia on a table. Washington Post, 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, 17 Oct. 2019 The chamberlain of Prince Rainier of Monaco recommended her for the job. Erica Gonzales, Harper's BAZAAR, 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, 26 Apr. 2017 See More

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

Word History


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

First Known Use

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

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

Dictionary Entries Near chamberlain

chamber kiln



Cite this Entry

“Chamberlain.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 10 Dec. 2023.

Kids Definition


cham·​ber·​lain ˈchām-bər-lən How to pronounce chamberlain (audio)
: a chief officer in the household of a ruler or noble

Biographical Definition

Chamberlain 1 of 2

biographical name (1)

Cham·​ber·​lain ˈchām-bər-lən How to pronounce Chamberlain (audio)
Joseph 1836–1914 and his sons Sir (Joseph) Austen 1863–1937 and (Arthur) Neville 1869–1940 British statesmen


2 of 2

biographical name (2)

Wilton Norman 1936–1999 American basketball player

More from Merriam-Webster on chamberlain

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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