- a civilian not officially connected with a military unit, especially a prostitute, who follows or settles near an army camp.
- a person who sympathizes with or espouses the aims of a group without belonging to it.
Origin of camp follower
Examples from the Web for camp follower
Otmar was in the Army and Margit turned into a camp-follower, moving across the country to an endless stream of training posts.At U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum’s Anniversary, One Survivor’s Quest Continues
April 29, 2013
Another was sure she had been a camp-follower during the war.The Spiritualists and the Detectives
She is only a camp-follower and protégée; and a compatriot of mine.Tante
Anne Douglas Sedgwick
Do not be as if you were to enlist as a soldier, and end as a camp-follower.The Young Man and the World
Albert J. Beveridge
One of the properties of a lizard's camp-follower is to leave the main body at the slightest intimation of danger.Cobwebs From an Empty Skull
Ambrose Bierce (AKA: Dod Grile)
He may have been a camp-follower through the German and Flemish wars.Children's Stories in American Literature, 1660-1860
Henrietta Christian Wright
- any civilian, esp a prostitute, who unofficially provides services to military personnel
- a nonmember who is sympathetic to a particular group, theory, etc
Idioms and Phrases with camp follower
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]
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.