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Alternative forms[edit]


From Middle English chambre, borrowed from Old French chambre, from Latin camera, from Ancient Greek καμάρα (kamára, vaulted chamber). Doublet of camera.


  • (UK) IPA(key): /ˈtʃeɪmbə(ɹ)/
  • (file)


chamber (plural chambers)

  1. A room or set of rooms, particularly:
    1. The private room of an individual, especially of someone wealthy or noble.
      • 1845, Edgar Allen Poe, The Raven,
        Once upon a midnight dreary, while I pondered, weak and weary,
        Over many a quaint and curious volume of forgotten lore,
        While I nodded, nearly napping, suddenly there came a tapping,
        As of some one gently rapping, rapping at my chamber door.
    2. A bedroom.
    3. The private office of a judge.
    4. The room used for deliberation by a legislature.
    5. (Britain) A single law office in a building housing several.
    6. (dated, usually in the plural) Rooms in a lodging house.
      • Thackeray
        ...a bachelor's life in chambers...
  2. One of the two atria or two ventricles of the heart.
  3. (obsolete) Clipping of chamber pot: a container used for urination and defecation in one's chambers.
    • 1946, Elizabeth Metzger Howard, Before the Sun Goes Down, page 31:
      "Jesus Christ! Was my folks refined. My mam she wouldn't think-a lettin' us young'uns call a pee pot a pee pot. A chamber's what she called it... And by God! Us young'uns had ter call the pee pot a chamber or git our God damn necks wrang."
  4. (figuratively) The legislature or division of the legislature itself.
    The resolution, which speedily passed the Senate, was unable to gain a majority in the lower chamber.
  5. Any enclosed space occupying or similar to a room.
    A canal lock chamber; a furnace chamber; a test chamber
  6. (firearms) The area holding the ammunition round at the initiation of its discharge.
    Dianne loaded a cartridge into the chamber of the rifle, then prepared to take aim at the target.
  7. (firearms) One of the bullet-holding compartments in the cylinder of a revolver.
  8. (historical) A short piece of ordnance or cannon which stood on its breech without any carriage, formerly used chiefly for celebrations and theatrical cannonades.


Derived terms[edit]


The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout#Translations.


chamber (third-person singular simple present chambers, present participle chambering, simple past and past participle chambered)

  1. To enclose in a room.
    She had chambered herself in her room, and wouldn't come out.
  2. To reside in or occupy a chamber or chambers.
    • 1893, Publications of the Scottish History Society (volume 14, page 64)
      I chambered with Alexander Preston.
  3. To place in a chamber, as a round of ammunition.
    The hunter fired at the geese and missed, then shrugged his shoulders and chambered another cartridge.
  4. To create or modify a gun to be a specific caliber.
    The rifle was originally chambered for 9mm, but had since been modified for a larger, wildcat caliber.
  5. In martial arts, to prepare an offensive, defensive, or counteroffensive action by drawing a limb or weapon to a position where it may be charged with kinetic energy.
    Bob chambered his fist for a blow, but Sheila struck first.
  6. (obsolete) To be lascivious.