an official charged with the management of the living quarters of a sovereign or member of the nobility.
an official who receives rents and revenues, as of a municipal corporation; treasurer.
the high steward or factor of a member of the nobility.
a high official of a royal court.

Origin of chamberlain

1175–1225; Middle English < Old French, variant of chamberlenc < Frankish *kamerling, equivalent to kamer (< Latin camera room; see chamber) + -ling -ling1
Related formsun·der·cham·ber·lain, noun




(Arthur) Neville,1869–1940, British statesman: prime minister 1937–40.
Joseph,1836–1914, British statesman (father of Sir Austen and Neville Chamberlain).
Sir (Joseph) Austen,1863–1937, British statesman: Nobel Peace Prize 1925.
Owen,1920–2006, U.S. physicist: Nobel Prize 1959.
Wilt(on Norman)Wilt the Stilt, 1936–1999, U.S. basketball player. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for chamberlain

Contemporary Examples of chamberlain

  • “DFA is not going to be working for them or trying to save them in their races,” Chamberlain said.

  • U.S. and Israeli hawks are rushing to call the interim nuclear agreement a capitulation and Obama another Chamberlain.

  • But what this show proves is that, even at his most automotive, Chamberlain achieved a surprising range of effects and meanings.

    The Daily Beast logo
    Talking Cars

    Blake Gopnik

    March 27, 2012

  • Conspirator: Lenin in Exile could have been the beginning of a great tragedy, says Chamberlain, if his cause had been a noble one.

    The Daily Beast logo
    The Best of Brit Lit

    Peter Stothard

    March 11, 2010

  • Chamberlain, of course, chose Rome over the object of his heart's ache, forfeiting love and dying a broken man.

    The Daily Beast logo
    The Passion of Mark Sanford

    Kathleen Parker

    June 27, 2009

Historical Examples of chamberlain

  • In Mr. Chamberlain they had a popular champion of great ability and industry.

    The Grand Old Man

    Richard B. Cook

  • Mr. Chamberlain, who had asked for these safeguards, did not accept them.

    The Grand Old Man

    Richard B. Cook

  • Poor Balfour was awfully lonely after Chamberlain crocked up.

    Changing Winds

    St. John G. Ervine

  • Then he raised me to my feet, and at a touch from the Chamberlain, I backed out of the room.

  • "Yes, your Holiness," said the chamberlain, coming up behind.

British Dictionary definitions for chamberlain



an officer who manages the household of a king
the steward of a nobleman or landowner
the treasurer of a municipal corporation
Derived Formschamberlainship, noun

Word Origin for chamberlain

C13: from Old French chamberlayn, of Frankish origin; related to Old High German chamarling chamberlain, Latin camera chamber



Sir (Joseph) Austen. 1863–1937, British Conservative statesman; foreign secretary (1924–29); awarded a Nobel peace prize for his negotiation of the Locarno Pact (1925)
his father, Joseph. 1836–1914, British statesman; originally a Liberal, he resigned in 1886 over Home Rule for Ireland and became leader of the Liberal Unionists; a leading advocate of preferential trading agreements with members of the British Empire
his son, (Arthur) Neville. 1869–1940, British Conservative statesman; prime minister (1937–40): pursued a policy of appeasement towards Germany; following the German invasion of Poland, he declared war on Germany on Sept 3, 1939
Owen. 1920–2006, US physicist, who discovered the antiproton. Nobel prize for physics jointly with Emilio Segré 1959
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 chamberlain

early 13c., from Old French chamberlenc "chamberlain, steward, treasurer" (Modern French chambellan), from a Germanic source (perhaps Frankish *kamerling; cf. Old High German chamarling, German Kämmerling), from Latin camera "chamber, room" (see camera) + Germanic diminutive suffix -ling.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper