camera

play
noun cam·era \ˈkam-rə, ˈka-mər-ə\

Definition of camera

  1. 1 :  the treasury department of the papal curia

  2. 2a :  camera obscurab :  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. 1 :  while not being filmed by a television or movie camera he's a different person off camera

  2. 2 :  outside the scope of a television or movie camera sounds of gunfire taking place off camera

on camera

  1. 1 :  before a live television camera go on camera; also :  while being filmed by a television or movie camera looked relaxed on camera

  2. 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


First Known Use: 1712

Other Pictures (on film) Terms



CAMERA Defined for English Language Learners

camera

play
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

play
noun cam·era \ˈkam-rə\

Definition of camera for Students

  1. 1 :  a device that has a lens on one side to let light in and is used for taking pictures

  2. 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.



Seen and Heard

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

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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

WORD OF THE DAY

a lively discussion

Get Word of the Day daily email!

WORD GAMES

Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!

  • istock-refers-to-this-as-a-tumble-of-strawberries-which-sounded-pretty-nice-to-us
  • Which is a synonym of garner?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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