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.
  • intransitive verb To curve upward.
  • 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.

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").


Help support Wordnik (and make this page ad-free) by adopting the word camber.



Log in or sign up to get involved in the conversation. It's quick and easy.

  • "... 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

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

    August 25, 2009

  • 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

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

    September 13, 2014

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

    September 13, 2014