1 [kamp]
a place where an army or other group of persons or an individual is lodged in a tent or tents or other temporary means of shelter.
such tents or shelters collectively: The regiment transported its camp in trucks.
the persons so sheltered: The camp slept through the storm.
the act of camping out: Camp is far more pleasant in summer than in winter.
any temporary structure, as a tent or cabin, used on an outing or vacation.
a group of troops, workers, etc., camping and moving together.
army life.
a group of people favoring the same ideals, doctrines, etc.: Most American voters are divided into two camps, Republicans and Democrats.
any position in which ideals, doctrines, etc., are strongly entrenched: After considering the other side's argument, he changed camps.
a recreation area in the country, equipped with extensive facilities for sports.
verb (used without object)
to establish or pitch a camp: The army camped in the valley.
to live temporarily in or as if in a camp or outdoors, usually for recreation (often followed by out ): They camped by the stream for a week.
to reside or lodge somewhere temporarily or irregularly, especially in an apartment, room, etc.: They camped in our apartment whenever they came to town.
to settle down securely and comfortably; become ensconced: The kids camped on our porch until the rain stopped.
to take up a position stubbornly: They camped in front of the president's office.
verb (used with object)
to put or station (troops) in a camp; shelter.

1520–30; < Middle French can, camp, orig. dial. (Normandy, Picardy) or < Old Provençal < Italian campo < Latin campus field; compare Old English campe, compe battle, battlefield (cognate with German Kampf struggle) < Germanic < Latin Unabridged


2 [kamp]
something that provides sophisticated, knowing amusement, as by virtue of its being artlessly mannered or stylized, self-consciously artificial and extravagant, or teasingly ingenuous and sentimental.
a person who adopts a teasing, theatrical manner, especially for the amusement of others.
verb (used without object)
Also, camp it up. to speak or behave in a coquettishly playful or extravagantly theatrical manner.
campy: camp Hollywood musicals of the 1940s.

1905–10; perhaps dial. camp impetuous, uncouth person (see kemp1); hence, slightly objectionable, effeminate, homosexual; in some senses probably special use of camp1 brothel, meeting place of male homosexuals


Walter Chauncey [chawn-see, chahn-] , 1859–1925, U.S. football coach and author.


[kamp] ,
noun Biochemistry. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
camp1 (kæmp)
1.  a place where tents, cabins, or other temporary structures are erected for the use of military troops, for training soldiers, etc
2.  the military life
3.  tents, cabins, etc, used as temporary lodgings by a group of travellers, holiday-makers, Scouts, etc
4.  the group of people living in such lodgings
5.  (South African) a field or paddock fenced off as pasture
6.  a group supporting a given doctrine or theory: the socialist camp
7.  (Austral) a place where sheep or cattle gather to rest
8.  (modifier) suitable for use in temporary quarters, on holiday, etc, esp by being portable and easy to set up: a camp bed; a camp chair
vb (often foll by down) (often foll by out)
9.  to establish or set up a camp
10.  to live temporarily in or as if in a tent
11.  (tr) to put in a camp
[C16: from Old French, ultimately from Latin campus field]

camp2 (kæmp)
1.  effeminate; affected in mannerisms, dress, etc
2.  homosexual
3.  consciously artificial, exaggerated, vulgar, or mannered; self-parodying, esp when in dubious taste
4.  (tr) to perform or invest with a camp quality
5.  camp it up
 a.  to seek to focus attention on oneself by making an ostentatious display, overacting, etc
 b.  to flaunt one's homosexuality
6.  a camp quality, style, etc
[C20: of uncertain origin]

Camp (kæmp)
Walter (Chauncey). 1859--1925, US sportsman and administrator; he introduced new rules to American football, which distinguished it from rugby.

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Word Origin & History

W.Gmc. *kampo-z, an early loan from L. campus "open field, level space" (cf. Fr. champ; see campus), especially "open space for military exercise." Originally borrowed as O.E. camp "contest," this was obsolete by mid-15c. Meaning "place where an army lodges temporarily" is
a later reborrowing (1520s), from Fr. camp, from It. campo, from the same L. source. Transferred to non-military senses 1550s. Meaning "body of adherents of a doctrine or cause" is 1871. The verb meaning "to encamp" is from 1540s. Camp-follower first attested 1810. Camp-meeting is from 1809, originally usually in reference to Methodists.

"tasteless," 1909, homosexual slang, perhaps from mid-17c. Fr. camper "to portray, pose" (as in se camper "put oneself in a bold, provocative pose"); popularized 1964 by Susan Sontag's essay "Notes on Camp." Campy is attested from 1959.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Medical Dictionary

cAMP abbr.
cyclic AMP

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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American Heritage
Abbreviations & Acronyms
cyclic adenosine monophosphate
  1. continuous air monitoring program

  2. cyclophosphamide doxorubicin methotrexate procarbazine

The American Heritage® Abbreviations Dictionary, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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Bible Dictionary

Camp definition

During their journeys across the wilderness, the twelve tribes formed encampments at the different places where they halted (Ex. 16:13; Num. 2:3). The diagram here given shows the position of the different tribes and the form of the encampment during the wanderings, according to Num. 1:53; 2:2-31; 3:29, 35, 38; 10:13-28. The area of the camp would be in all about 3 square miles. After the Hebrews entered Palestine, the camps then spoken of were exclusively warlike (Josh. 11:5, 7; Judg. 5:19, 21; 7:1; 1 Sam. 29:1; 30:9, etc.).

Easton's 1897 Bible Dictionary
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American Heritage
Idioms & Phrases


In addition to the idioms beginning with camp, also see break camp; foot in both camps; happy camper.

The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer.
Copyright © 1997. Published by Houghton Mifflin.
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Encyclopedia Britannica


in military service, an area for temporary or semipermanent sheltering of troops. In most usage the word camp signifies an installation more elaborate and durable than a bivouac but less so than a fort or billet

Learn more about camp with a free trial on

Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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Example sentences
Here's a hearty seafood stew to cook on-site on a grill or cAMP stove.
Your tent and an outdoor living area are set up when you arrive at cAMP each
Students head out from dorms to become interns, caddies, and cAMP counselors.
To make matters worse, when they returned to the refugee cAMP where the photo
  was taken, it was completely deserted.
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