camera

noun cam·era \ ˈkam-rə , ˈka-mər-ə \
Updated on: 15 Nov 2017

Definition of camera

1 :the treasury department of the papal curia
b :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 film) or for translation into electrical impulses (as for television broadcast)
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

Recent Examples of camera from the Web

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.

Origin and Etymology of camera

Late Latin, room — more at chamber

Other Pictures (on film) Terms



CAMERA Defined for English Language Learners

camera

noun

Definition of camera for English Language Learners

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


CAMERA Defined for Kids

camera

noun cam·era \ ˈkam-rə \

Definition of camera for Students

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

History for camera

The word camera is short for camera obscura, which in Latin means “dark room.” A camera obscura is a darkened enclosure—which can be as small as a box or as large as a room—into which light is admitted through a very small hole. Because of the way in which light beams cross rather than scatter, an upside-down image of whatever is outside the enclosure is projected on the surface opposite the hole. The image can be made brighter by passing the light through a lens. The first photographic camera was simply a camera obscura with the image projected on light-sensitive chemicals.



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