[ sham-ee; French sha-mwah ]
See synonyms for chamois on
noun,plural cham·ois, cham·oix [sham-eez; French sha-mwah]. /ˈʃæm iz; French ʃaˈmwɑ/.
  1. an agile, goatlike antelope, Rupicapra rupicapra, of high mountains of Europe: now rare in some areas.

  2. a soft, pliable leather from any of various skins dressed with oil, especially fish oil, originally prepared from the skin of the chamois.

  1. a piece of this leather.

  2. a cotton cloth finished to simulate this leather.

  3. a medium to grayish yellow color.

verb (used with object),cham·oised [sham-eed], /ˈʃæm id/, cham·ois·ing [sham-ee-ing]. /ˈʃæm i ɪŋ/.
  1. to dress (a pelt) with oil in order to produce a chamois.

  2. to rub or buff with a chamois.

Origin of chamois

First recorded in 1525–35; from Middle French, from Late Latin camox, presumably of pre-Latin origin; cf. gems

Words Nearby chamois Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2024

How to use chamois in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for chamois


/ (ˈʃæmɪ, French ʃamwa) /

nounplural -ois
  1. (ˈʃæmwɑː) 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

  1. Also called: chamois leather, shammy, shammy leather, chammy, chammy leather (ˈʃæmɪ) a piece of such leather or similar material used for polishing, etc

  2. (ˈʃæmwɑː)

    • a yellow to greyish-yellow colour

    • (as modifier): a chamois stamp

  1. to dress (leather or skin) like chamois

  2. to polish with a chamois

Origin of chamois

C16: from Old French, from Late Latin camox of uncertain origin

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