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

  • noun A room in a house, especially a bedroom.
  • noun A room where a person of authority, rank, or importance receives visitors.
  • noun The private office where the judge consults with parties and conducts business not required to be brought in open court.
  • noun Chiefly British A suite of rooms, especially one used by lawyers.
  • noun A hall for the meetings of a legislative or other assembly.
  • noun A legislative or judicial body.
  • noun A board or council.
  • noun A place where municipal or state funds are received and held; a treasury.
  • noun An enclosed space or compartment.
  • noun An enclosed space in the body of an organism; a cavity.
  • noun A compartment in a firearm, as in the breech of a rifle or the cylinder of a revolver, that holds the cartridge in readiness for firing.
  • noun An enclosed space in the bore of a gun that holds the charge.
  • transitive verb To put (a round) in the chamber of a firearm.
  • transitive verb To design or manufacture (a firearm) to hold a specific type of cartridge.
  • transitive verb To furnish with a chamber or chambers.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun The place where the moneys due the government (municipal or other) are received and kept; the treasury; the chamberlain's office. See chamberlain, 2.
  • noun of the British and American Divines who in 1870 and following year's produced the present Revised Version of the Bible; and
  • noun of the Upper House of Convocation of the Province of Canterbury: so named from its tapestried walls which show many scenes from Jerusalem. Here Henry IV. died.
  • To reside in or occupy a chamber.
  • To fit snugly, as layers of buckshot in the barrel of a gun or in a cartridge. See extract under II., 3.
  • To shut up in or as in a chamber.
  • To furnish with a chamber, as the barrel of a breech-loading firearm.
  • To fit into tho barrel of a gun or into a cartridge, as buckshot.
  • noun A room of a dwelling-house; an apartment; specifically, a sleeping-apartment; a bedroom.
  • noun plural
  • noun A room or rooms where professional men, as lawyers, conduct their business; especially, any place out of court (usually a room set apart for this purpose) where a judge may dispose of questions of procedure of a class not sufficiently important to be heard and argued in court, or too urgent to await a term of court: distinctively called judges' chambers.
  • noun Furnished rooms hired for residence in the house of another; lodgings: as, “a bachelor life in chambers,”
  • noun A place where an assembly meets: as, a legislative chamber, ecclesiastical chamber, privy chamber, etc.— 4. The assembly itself; sometimes, specifically, one of the branches of a legislative assembly: as, the New York Chamber of Commerce; a meeting of the legislative chamber.
  • noun A compartment or inclosed space; a hollow or cavity: as, the chambers of the eye (see below); the chamber of a furnace.
  • noun Specifically— In hydraulic engin,:
  • noun The space between the gates of a canal-lock.
  • noun The part of a pump in which the bucket of a plunger works.
  • noun Milit.:
  • noun That part of a barrel, at the breech of a firearm or piece of ordnance, which is enlarged to receive the charge or cartridge; also, a receptacle for a cartridge in the cylinder of a revolver or of a breech-loading gun.
  • noun An underground cavity or mine for holding powder and bombs, where they may be safe and dry. Distinctively called powder-chamber and bomb-chamber.
  • noun The indentation in an axle-box, designed to hold the lubricant.
  • noun That part of a mold containing the exterior part of a casting and covering the core in hollow castings.
  • noun In anatomy: A cavity representing the urogenital sinus of the embryo undifferentiated into a prostatic and bulbous urethra.
  • noun See chambers of the eye, below.
  • noun In conchology:
  • noun The interval between the septa of the camerated shell of a cephalopod, such as species of Nautilus or Ammonites, as well as the portion of the shell in which the animal rests.
  • noun A cavity separated from another or the main part of the interior of the shell by a septum.
  • noun In coal-mining, same as breast or room. See breast.
  • noun A short piece of ordnance without a carriage and standing on its breech, formerly used chiefly for rejoicings and theatrical purposes.
  • noun A bedroom utensil, used for containing urine; a chamber-pot.
  • noun A court in the Netherlands where cases relating to insurance are tried.

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

  • intransitive verb To reside in or occupy a chamber or chambers.
  • intransitive verb obsolete To be lascivious.


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

[Middle English chaumbre, from Old French chambre, from Late Latin camera, chamber, from Latin, vault, from Greek kamarā.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From French chambre, from Latin camera, from Ancient Greek καμάρα (kamara, "vaulted chamber").


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


  • I have private access to the house -- to your sister's chamber -- _her chamber_ -- mark you that!

    Rookwood William Harrison Ainsworth 1843

  • He said the chamber is the victim of "a smear campaign" orchestrated with the involvement of the White House.

    Chamber and Democrats battle over the midterms and election spending Dan Eggen 2010

  • In such a scenario, just who would control the chamber is a matter of debate, hinging on what powers are held by the lieutenant governor, who is granted a "casting vote" by the state constitution without further explanation of what that term means.

    Senate Control Still in Doubt, But GOP Gains Eliot Brown 2010

  • The shattered debris collected in the chamber is then reused to make lights and other cool stuff, prolonging the life of the bottles that once held your brew.


  • That way neither chamber is attesting it agrees with what it does not, in fact, agree with, and only one bill is enrolled (expressing the will of a majority of each chamber), and only one bill is presented to the president.

    The Volokh Conspiracy » Would “Deem & Pass” Survive Judicial Review? 2010

  • One group in the debate is what I call the chamber of commerce chorus.

    Mike Papantonio: Immigration Control Starts with Drug Control 2009

  • That ring you see in front of the chamber is the forcing cone, where the chamber tapers to bore diameter.

    Barreling Ahead 2004

  • That ring you see in front of the chamber is the forcing cone, where the chamber tapers to bore diameter.

    A Quick Guide to Shotgun Modification 2004

  • Whenever he came into a new territory, he established what he called his chamber of claims, a most convenient device, by which he inquired whether the conquered country or province had any dormant or disputed claims—any cause of complaint—any unsettled demand upon any other state or province—upon which he might wage war upon such state, thereby discover again ground for new devastation, and gratify his ambition by new acquisitions.

    IV. On the Refusal to Negotiate with France 1906

  • When he went to the bedroom after supper, he found that the cradle and his wife's few little boxes and parcels -- poor pathetic properties -- had been removed to the garret which they called a chamber, and he knew he was to sleep alone again.

    The Arena Volume 4, No. 20, July, 1891 Various 1888


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

  • I have seen them riding seaward on the waves

    Combing the white hair of the waves blown back

    When the wind blows the water white and black.

    We have lingered in the chambers of the sea

    By sea-girls wreathed with seaweed red and brown

    Till human voices wake us, and we drown.

    - T.S. Eliot, 'The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock'.

    September 23, 2009

  • I've always imagined bilby as a pair of ragged claws

    September 24, 2009

  • Re: "pair of ragged claws"... So how should you presume, sionnach? Trying to swell a progress, start a scene or two? *Nudge nudge, he says, with a knowing smile*.

    September 24, 2009

  • What's that? Sorry! (guiltily wipes peach juice off of chin)

    You should really try one of these. They're, like, totally yummy!

    September 24, 2009

  • *Chuckles heartily* as some yellow smoke rubs its muzzle on my window-panes.

    September 24, 2009