Share this entry

Share this page

chamber

Syllabification: cham·ber
Pronunciation: /ˈCHāmbər
 
/

Definition of chamber in English:

noun

1A large room used for formal or public events.
Example sentences
  • The new courthouse features 14 courtrooms and judicial chambers for the U.S. District Court and the U.S. Magistrate.
  • Using historical photographs, they restored the rotunda and legislative chamber to their original antebellum style.
  • But in the chaos of his old judicial chambers, anything could have happened.
Synonyms
room, hall, assembly room, auditorium
1.1Any of the houses of a legislature: the Senate chamber
More example sentences
  • Labour will table another bill in 2007 proposing the total abolition of the peerage, making the upper house an all-appointed chamber.
  • The late Donald Dewar recognised this himself and even proposed that the House of Lords should be roped in as a revising chamber for the Scottish parliament.
  • Both chambers of parliament must still confirm the new government, but this is virtually assured by the ruling coalition's clear majority.
2 literary or archaic A private room, typically a bedroom: he had his meals brought to his chamber
More example sentences
  • Opposite the door was another, leading into the King's more private chambers - his bedroom, place of worship and relaxing room.
  • The four knights were immediately recognised as royal courtiers and ushered into the Archbishop's private chambers.
  • Then I went quickly to the king's chambers, escorted by the gentleman usher.
Synonyms
bedroom, room
literary bower
historical boudoir
archaic bedchamber
2.1 (chambers) Law A judge’s room used for official proceedings not required to be held in open court.
Example sentences
  • If both prosecution and defence lawyers agree, the hearing can be held in the privacy of the judge's chambers, not in open court.
  • Courts sit in chambers or in open court generally merely as a matter of administrative convenience.
  • Suddenly the door leading from the judges' chambers were flung open without the usual ceremonies.
2.2 (chambers) British Law Rooms used by a lawyer or lawyers.
Example sentences
  • This seems to have been his response to the creeping erosion of the square's residential character primarily by the spread of barristers' chambers.
  • But try as they may the attractive, hard-faced young lawyers are little more than a side-show in this series about a fictional barristers' chambers in Leeds.
  • The consumer may be king in a supermarket, but not in a barrister's chambers, an accountant's office, or a clinic.
3An enclosed space or cavity: an echo chamber
More example sentences
  • An officer had to crawl through the narrow space leading to the chamber.
  • Trulli are centuries-old stone and masonry cottages built from cylindrical room-size chambers - each enclosed by conical stone roofs.
  • Held together with large screws and lit by bare light bulbs, these cramped quarters conflate domestic spaces with torture chambers.
3.1A large underground cavern.
Example sentences
  • The main turbine and generator chamber is one of the largest underground chambers excavated by man.
  • Leaf-cutter ant colonies of many millions can excavate room-sized underground chambers in which they cultivate fungus gardens.
  • His builders knew how to hew underground chambers without support, and they are still standing.
3.2The part of a gun bore that contains the charge or bullet.
Example sentences
  • The gun was of unusual design, with a series of explosive charges placed in side chambers extending obliquely from the barrel along its length, rather like the ribs on a fish-bone.
  • The chambers and bore are free of rust and pitting.
  • Cleaning the No.1 is a cinch because the chamber, bore and face of the breechblock are so accessible.
3.3 Biology A cavity in a plant, animal body, or organ: the four chambers of the heart
More example sentences
  • Crocodilians' hearts have four chambers like mammals and birds, but there is a pore between the left and right ventricles which allows some mixing.
  • A normal heart is divided into four hollow chambers, two on the right and two on the left.
  • Unlike a human heart, which has two ventricles or pumping chambers, a reptile heart has only one.
Synonyms
compartment, cavity;
Anatomy auricle, ventricle
4 [as modifier] Music Of or for a small group of instruments: a chamber concert
More example sentences
  • Yet I have found interest in individual guitar family instruments for use in guitar duos, or chamber music ensembles.
  • The orchestra was founded in 1951 by eight soloists from the most highly respected Viennese orchestras and chamber music ensembles.
  • I was first violinist of a chamber orchestra, played the cello in Vienna.

verb

[with object] Back to top  
Place (a bullet) into the chamber of a gun.
Example sentences
  • His dad had just finished chambering his last bullets.
  • It was the unmistakable sound of a pump shotgun chambering a load.
  • He ejected the clips of his guns and inserted fresh ones, chambering a round into the breach of each pistol.

Origin

Middle English (in the sense 'private room'): from Old French chambre, from Latin camera 'vault, arched chamber', from Greek kamara 'object with an arched cover'.

More
  • camera from (late 17th century):

    A camera was first a council or legislative chamber in Italy and Spain. The word is borrowed from Latin, where it meant ‘vault or chamber’, and is also the source of chamber (Middle English). In legal contexts the Latin phrase in camera is used to mean ‘in the judge's private chamber’ instead of in open court. The photography sense comes from the camera obscura (literally ‘dark chamber’), a device popular in the 18th century for recording visual images—the first example of the modern sense comes in the 1840s.

Derivatives

chambered

1
adjective
Example sentences
  • The revolver is the first in a series of Taurus revolvers chambered for rimless cartridges and others will soon follow.
  • Frontier revolvers chambered in .45 Colt have almost paper-thin cylinder walls and should be treated accordingly.
  • The Schofield is chambered in .45 Colt and comes packed in an authentic, Western-style case.

Words that rhyme with chamber

bedchamber

Definition of chamber in:

Share this entry

Share this page

 

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove adverts and access premium resources

Word of the day terpsichorean
Pronunciation: ˌtəːpsɪkəˈriːən
adjective
relating to dancing