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

  • noun A slightly arched surface, as of a road, a ship's deck, an airfoil, or a ski.
  • noun The condition of having an arched surface.
  • noun A setting of automobile wheels in which they are closer together at the bottom than at the top.
  • intransitive & transitive verb To arch or cause to arch slightly.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun A harbor.
  • To arch; bend; curve, as ship-planks.
  • noun A convexity upon an upper surface, as of a deck amidships, a bridge, a beam, or a lintel.
  • noun The curve of a ship's plank.
  • noun A small dock or part of a dock, protected by a breakwater, where boats and small craft may lie quietly.

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

  • transitive verb To cut bend to an upward curve; to construct, as a deck, with an upward curve.
  • noun (Shipbuilding) An upward convexity of a deck or other surface.
  • noun (Arch.) An upward concavity in the under side of a beam, girder, or lintel; also, a slight upward concavity in a straight arch. See Hogback.
  • noun (Arch.) an arch whose intrados, though apparently straight, has a slightly concave curve upward.
  • noun (Arch.) a beam whose under side has a concave curve upward.
  • intransitive verb To curve upward.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun A slight convexity, arching or curvature of a surface of a road, a beam, roof deck, ship's deck etc., so that liquids will flow off the sides.
  • noun The slope of a curved road created to minimize the effect of centrifugal force.
  • noun automotive A vertical alignment of the wheels of a road vehicle with positive camber signifying that the wheels are closer together at the bottom than at the top.
  • noun The curvature of an airfoil.
  • noun nautical A small enclosed dock in which timber for masts (etc.) is kept to weather.
  • verb To curve upwards in the middle.
  • verb To adjust the camber of the wheels of a vehicle.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • verb curve upward in the middle
  • noun the alignment of the wheels of a motor vehicle closer together at the bottom than at the top
  • noun a slight convexity (as of the surface of a road)
  • noun a slope in the turn of a road or track; the outside is higher than the inside in order to reduce the effects of centrifugal force


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

From Middle English caumber, curved, from Old North French dialectal caumbre, from Latin camur, perhaps from Greek kamara, vault.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

Old French cambre ("bent"), from Latin camurum, from camur ("arched").



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  • Thank you, hernesheir. I am pleased to evoke memories of that excellent film.

    September 13, 2014

  • Great one, qms. Evokes a scene in the 1937 film Captains Courageous, which I recently watched again.

    September 13, 2014

  • A sailor's first lesson at sea

    He learns on his elbow and knee

    While crawling to clamber

    The deck's gentle camber

    On orders to puke to the lee.

    September 13, 2014

  • The transverse convex curvature of exposed decks to accelerate runoff.

    August 25, 2009

  • "... in shipbuilding, a term for any thing that rounds, but chiefly expressed to camber the ways for launching the ship."

    Falconer's New Universal Dictionary of the Marine (1816), 66

    October 14, 2008