< /ˈkæm ə ri/.

  1. a judge’s private office.

  1. in camera,
    1. the privacy of a judge’s chambers.
    2. privately.


  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

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.

n. pl. cam•er•ae (-ə-rē)

  1. A chamber or cavity, such as one of the chambers of the heart or eye.
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