[sham-ee; French sha-mwah]
noun, plural chamois, chamoix [sham-eez; French sha-mwah] .
an agile, goatlike antelope, Rupicapra rupicapra, of high mountains of Europe: now rare in some areas.
a soft, pliable leather from any of various skins dressed with oil, especially fish oil, originally prepared from the skin of the chamois.
a piece of this leather.
a cotton cloth finished to simulate this leather.
a medium to grayish yellow color.
verb (used with object), chamoised [sham-eed] , chamoising [sham-ee-ing] .
to dress (a pelt) with oil in order to produce a chamois.
to rub or buff with a chamois.
Also, chammy, shammy, shamoy (for defs 2–4, 6, 7).

1525–35; < Middle French < Late Latin camox, presumably of pre-Latin orig.; cf. gems Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
chamois (ˈʃæmɪ, French ʃamwa)
n , pl -ois
1.  a sure-footed goat antelope, Rupicapra rupicapra, inhabiting mountains of Europe and SW Asia, having vertical horns with backward-pointing tips
2.  a soft suede leather formerly made from the hide of this animal, now obtained from the skins of sheep and goats
3.  chamois leather, shammy, shammy leather, chammy, Also called: chammy leather a piece of such leather or similar material used for polishing, etc
4.  a.  a yellow to greyish-yellow colour
 b.  (as modifier): a chamois stamp
5.  to dress (leather or skin) like chamois
6.  to polish with a chamois
[C16: from Old French, from Late Latin camox of uncertain origin]

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

1560, "soft leather," originally "skin of the chamois," from M.Fr. chamois "Alpine antelope," from L.L. camox (gen. camocis), probably from a pre-L. Alpine language.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Bible Dictionary

Chamois definition

only in Deut. 14:5 (Heb. zemer), an animal of the deer or gazelle species. It bears this Hebrew name from its leaping or springing. The animal intended is probably the wild sheep (Ovis tragelephus), which is still found in Sinai and in the broken ridges of Stony Arabia. The LXX. and Vulgate render the word by camelopardus, i.e., the giraffe; but this is an animal of Central Africa, and is not at all known in Syria.

Easton's 1897 Bible Dictionary
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Encyclopedia Britannica


(species Rupicapra rupicapra), goatlike animal, belonging to the family Bovidae (order Artiodactyla), native to the mountains of Europe.

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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Example sentences
In a few high-mountain refuges there are growing populations of chamois and ibex.
Use clean chamois or clean soft cloths to dry and buff the surface and prevent streaking.
Carefully remove the pyramid shape sample, enclosed in a chamois cover, from its carrying case following the instructions below.
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