[kam-er-uh, kam-ruh]
See more synonyms for camera on
  1. a device for capturing a photographic image or recording a video, using film or digital memory.
  2. (in a television transmitting apparatus) the device in which the picture to be televised is formed before it is changed into electric impulses.
  1. Printing. camera-ready.
  1. off camera,
    1. out of the range of a video camera, as a television or motion picture camera: The stunt woman was waiting just off camera for her cue to enter the scene.
    2. (of an actor) in one’s private rather than professional life: The two co-stars are best friends off camera.
  2. on camera, being filmed or televised by a live camera: Be sure to look alert when you are on camera.

Origin of camera

1730–35; shortening of camera obscura; 1840-45 for def 1; utimately < Latin camera vaulted room, vault; see camera2


noun, plural cam·er·ae [kam-uh-ree] /ˈkæm ə ri/.
  1. a judge's private office.
  1. in camera,
    1. the privacy of a judge's chambers.
    2. privately.

Origin of camera

1630–40; for earlier sense “vaulted room” < Latin < Greek kamára vault; see chamber Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for camera

camcorder, Polaroid, Kodak

Examples from the Web for camera

Contemporary Examples of camera

Historical Examples of camera

  • But how the form of such a woman must be dwarfed in the camera of such a man's mind!

    Weighed and Wanting

    George MacDonald

  • He is like a camera with the cap on—he never gets a new impression.

    The Underdog

    F. Hopkinson Smith

  • I was tapping away at the door of his recollections, camera all ready.

    The Underdog

    F. Hopkinson Smith

  • "Oh, that's all right," said Mr. Trenton, swinging his camera over his shoulder.

  • If it should come, he wished for a camera—a moving picture camera.

British Dictionary definitions for camera


  1. an optical device consisting of a lens system set in a light-proof construction inside which a light-sensitive film or plate can be positionedSee also cine camera, digital camera
  2. television the equipment used to convert the optical image of a scene into the corresponding electrical signals
  3. See camera obscura
  4. plural -erae (-əˌriː) a judge's private room
  5. in camera
    1. lawrelating to a hearing from which members of the public are excluded
    2. in private
  6. off camera not within an area being filmed
  7. on camera (esp of an actor) being filmed

Word Origin for camera

C18: from Latin: vault, from Greek kamara
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for camera

1708, "vaulted building," from Latin camera "vaulted room" (source of Italian camera, Spanish camara, French chambre), from Greek kamara "vaulted chamber."

The word also was used early 18c. as a short form of Modern Latin camera obscura "dark chamber" (a black box with a lens that could project images of external objects), contrasted with camera lucida (Latin for "light chamber"), which uses prisms to produce on paper beneath the instrument an image, which can be traced. It became the word for "picture-taking device" when modern photography began, c.1840 (extended to television filming devices 1928). Camera-shy is attested from 1890. Old Church Slavonic komora, Lithuanian kamara, Old Irish camra all are borrowings from Latin.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

camera in Medicine


[kămər-ə, kămrə]
n. pl. cam•er•ae (-ə-rē)
  1. A chamber or cavity, such as one of the chambers of the heart or eye.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.