star-chamber

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

Definition of star-chamber

: characterized by secrecy and often being irresponsibly arbitrary and oppressive

First Known Use of star-chamber

1779, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for star-chamber

Star Chamber, a court existing in England from the 15th century until 1641

Learn More About star-chamber

Time Traveler for star-chamber

Time Traveler

The first known use of star-chamber was in 1779

See more words from the same year

Listen to Our Podcast About star-chamber

Dictionary Entries Near star-chamber

starch

star-chamber

star chart

See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for star-chamber

Cite this Entry

“Star-chamber.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/star-chamber. Accessed 25 Jun. 2022.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

More Definitions for star-chamber

star chamber

noun

Legal Definition of star chamber

1 capitalized S&C : an old English court abolished in 1641 that exercised wide civil and criminal jurisdiction under rules of procedure suited to the prerogatives of the king and that was marked by secrecy, the absence of juries, self-incrimination, and an inquisitorial as opposed to accusatorial system of justice
2 : a tribunal or proceeding resembling the Star Chamber especially in being secretive or arbitrary

WORD OF THE DAY

Test Your Vocabulary

Which Word Does Not Belong?

  • one green toy robot amidst many red toy robots
  • Which of these words does not mean "nonsense"?
True or False

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

TAKE THE QUIZ
Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

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!