from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun Deliberate affectation or exaggeration of style, especially of popular or outdated style, for ironic or humorous effect.
  • adjective Showing or characterized by camp.
  • adjective Given to or characterized by exaggerated, effeminate mannerisms.
  • intransitive verb To act in a histrionic or exaggerated manner.
  • intransitive verb To act in an exaggerated, effeminate manner.
  • intransitive verb To exaggerate or overdramatize.
  • noun A place where tents, huts, or other temporary shelters are set up, as by soldiers, nomads, or travelers.
  • noun A cabin or shelter or group of such buildings.
  • noun The people using such shelters.
  • noun A place in the country that offers simple group accommodations and organized recreation or instruction, as for vacationing children.
  • noun Sports A place where athletes engage in intensive training, especially preseason training.
  • noun The people attending the programs at such a place.
  • noun A prison camp or concentration camp.
  • noun Military service; army life.
  • noun A group of people who think alike or share a cause; side.
  • intransitive verb To make or set up a camp.
  • intransitive verb To live in or as if in a camp; settle.
  • intransitive verb To shelter or lodge in a camp; encamp.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • To fight; contend in battle or in any kind of contest; hence, to strive with others in doing anything.
  • To wrangle; argue.
  • To play at the game of camp.
  • noun Conflict; battle.
  • noun An English form of the game of foot-ball.
  • noun A caterpillar.
  • To surpass, excel, or outrank (others) in a contest. Compare kemp.
  • To put into or lodge in a camp, as an army; encamp.
  • To afford camping-ground for; afford rest or lodging to.
  • To bury in pits, as potatoes; pit.
  • To establish or make a camp; go into camp: sometimes with down.
  • To live in a camp, as an army: as, we camped there three days.
  • To live temporarily in a tent or tents or in rude places of shelter, as for health or pleasure: generally with out.
  • noun A place where an army or other body of men is or has been encamped; the collection of tents or other temporary structures for the accommodation of a number of men, particularly troops in a temporary station; an encampment.
  • noun A body of troops or other persons encamping together; an army with its camp-equipment.
  • noun In British agri., a heap of turnips, potatoes, or other roots laid up in a trench and thickly covered with straw and earth for preservation through the winter. In some places called a pit, in others a bury.
  • noun A mustering place for cattle.
  • noun [capitalized] In the early history of Australian colonization, the name popularly applied to Sydney, New South Wales, and to Hobart in Tasmania, the British forces being stationed in those places.
  • noun A camping-out expedition, as for fishing, shooting, recreation, or the like; a camp-out.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • transitive verb To afford rest or lodging for, as an army or travelers.
  • intransitive verb To pitch or prepare a camp; to encamp; to lodge in a camp; -- often with out.
  • intransitive verb Prov. Eng. To play the game called camp.
  • noun The ground or spot on which tents, huts, etc., are erected for shelter, as for an army or for lumbermen, etc.
  • noun A collection of tents, huts, etc., for shelter, commonly arranged in an orderly manner.
  • noun A single hut or shelter.
  • noun The company or body of persons encamped, as of soldiers, of surveyors, of lumbermen, etc.
  • noun (Agric.), Prov. Eng. A mound of earth in which potatoes and other vegetables are stored for protection against frost; -- called also burrow and pie.
  • noun An ancient game of football, played in some parts of England.
  • noun a light bedstead that can be folded up onto a small space for easy transportation.
  • noun (Arch.) a kind ceiling often used in attics or garrets, in which the side walls are inclined inward at the top, following the slope of the rafters, to meet the plane surface of the upper ceiling.


from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[Obsolete French, perhaps from Italian or Spanish campo, all from Latin campus, field.]

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[Origin unknown.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Middle English camp ("battlefield, open space"), from Old English camp ("battle, contest, battlefield, open space"), from Proto-Germanic *kampaz, *kampan (“open field where military exercises are held, level plain”), from Latin campus ("open field, level plain"), from Proto-Indo-European *kamp- (“to bend; crooked”). Reinforced circa 1520 by Middle French can, camp ("place where an army lodges temporarily"), from Old Northern French camp, from the same Latin source (whence also French champ from Old French). Cognate with Old High German champf (German Kampf, "battle, struggle"), Old Norse kapp ("battle"), Old High German hamf ("paralysed, maimed, mutilated").


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  • "A less daring version, for it can be tamed into smoothness when the wearer is in the haunts of the smooth, is the teased mop. The ferocity mimicked by the hairstyle is further expressed in the studded belts and armlets and earrings in the shape of a skull, but is is clearly a mere affectation. The camp aggressiveness of the display stands in inverse ratio to the social power wielded by the group. Their cultural uniformity is actually competitiveness and does not lead to solidarity."

    - 'One man's mutilation is another man's beautification', Germaine Greer in The Madwoman's Underclothes.

    September 1, 2008