camp follower

camp follower

noun
1.
a civilian not officially connected with a military unit, especially a prostitute, who follows or settles near an army camp.
2.
a person who sympathizes with or espouses the aims of a group without belonging to it.

Origin:
1800–10

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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
camp follower
 
n
1.  any civilian, esp a prostitute, who unofficially provides services to military personnel
2.  a nonmember who is sympathetic to a particular group, theory, etc

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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American Heritage
Idioms & Phrases

camp follower

  1. A civilian who follows or settles near a military camp, especially a prostitute who does so. For example, The recruits were told not to associate with camp followers. [Early 1800s]

  2. A person who sympathizes with a cause or group but does not join it. For example, She's only a camp follower so we can't count on her for a contribution.

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