noun (1), often attributive
\ ˈkamp How to pronounce camp (audio) \

Definition of camp

 (Entry 1 of 5)

1a : a place usually away from urban areas where tents or simple buildings (such as cabins) are erected for shelter or for temporary residence (as for laborers, prisoners, or vacationers) migrant labor camp
b : a group of tents, cabins, or huts fishing camps along the river
c : a settlement newly sprung up in a lumbering or mining region
d : a place usually in the country for recreation or instruction often during the summer goes to camp every July also : a program offering access to recreational or educational facilities for a limited period of time computer camp a resort offering boating and hiking camps
e : a preseason training session for athletes the star pitcher injured in camp this spring
2a : a body of persons encamped
b(1) : a group of persons especially : a group engaged in promoting or defending a theory, doctrine, position, or person
(2) : an ideological position
3 : military service or life


verb (1)
camped; camping; camps

Definition of camp (Entry 2 of 5)

intransitive verb

1 : to make camp or occupy a camp
2 : to live temporarily in a camp or outdoors often used with out
3 : to take up one's quarters : lodge
4 : to take up one's position : settle down often used with out camp out in the library for the afternoon

transitive verb

: to put into a camp also : accommodate


noun (2)

Definition of camp (Entry 3 of 5)

1a : something so outrageously artificial, affected, inappropriate, or out-of-date as to be considered amusing This version of the play is camp: outrageous in concept and wild in its execution with double entendres flying every which way.
b : a style or mode of personal or creative expression that is absurdly exaggerated and often fuses elements of high and popular culture a movie that celebrates camp
2 : exaggerated effeminate mannerisms (as of speech or gesture)



Definition of camp (Entry 4 of 5)

: of, relating to, being, or displaying camp : campy camp send-ups of the songs of the fifties and sixties— John Elsom


verb (2)
camped; camping; camps

Definition of camp (Entry 5 of 5)

intransitive verb

: to engage in camp : exhibit the qualities of camp he … was camping, hands on hips, with a quick eye to notice every man who passed by— R. M. McAlmon

First Known Use of camp

Noun (1)

1528, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Verb (1)

1543, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense 1

Noun (2)

circa 1909, in the meaning defined at sense 2


1909, in the meaning defined above

Verb (2)

1910, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for camp

Noun (1) and Verb (1)

Middle French, probably from Middle French dialect (Picard) or Old Occitan, from Latin campus plain, field

Noun (2), Adjective, and Verb (2)

origin unknown

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Last Updated

23 Aug 2022

Cite this Entry

“Camp.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 1 Oct. 2022.

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More Definitions for camp


\ ˈkamp How to pronounce camp (audio) \

Kids Definition of camp

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a place where temporary shelters are erected The hikers set up camp for the night.
2 : a place or program for recreation or instruction usually during the summer


camped; camping

Kids Definition of camp (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : to make or occupy a camp The travelers camped under a large tree.
2 : to sleep outdoors usually in a tent We camped out overnight.



Medical Definition of cAMP

cyclic AMP

Camp biographical name

\ ˈkamp How to pronounce Camp (audio) \

Definition of Camp

Walter Chauncey 1859–1925 American football coach

More from Merriam-Webster on camp

Nglish: Translation of camp for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of camp for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about camp


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