- a camping out of a group.
- a place where an army or other group of persons or an individual is lodged in a tent or tents or other temporary means of shelter.
- such tents or shelters collectively: The regiment transported its camp in trucks.
- the persons so sheltered: The camp slept through the storm.
- the act of camping out: Camp is far more pleasant in summer than in winter.
- any temporary structure, as a tent or cabin, used on an outing or vacation.
- a group of troops, workers, etc., camping and moving together.
- army life.
- a group of people favoring the same ideals, doctrines, etc.: Most American voters are divided into two camps, Republicans and Democrats.
- any position in which ideals, doctrines, etc., are strongly entrenched: After considering the other side’s argument, he changed camps.
- a recreation area in the country, equipped with extensive facilities for sports.
- day camp.
- summer camp.
verb (used without object)
- to establish or pitch a camp: The army camped in the valley.
- to live temporarily in or as if in a camp or outdoors, usually for recreation (often followed by out): They camped by the stream for a week.
- to reside or lodge somewhere temporarily or irregularly, especially in an apartment, room, etc.: They camped in our apartment whenever they came to town.
- to settle down securely and comfortably; become ensconced: The kids camped on our porch until the rain stopped.
- to take up a position stubbornly: They camped in front of the president’s office.
verb (used with object)
- to put or station (troops) in a camp; shelter.
- Walter (Chauncey). 1859–1925, US sportsman and administrator; he introduced new rules to American football, which distinguished it from rugby.
- a place where tents, cabins, or other temporary structures are erected for the use of military troops, for training soldiers, etc
- the military life
- tents, cabins, etc, used as temporary lodgings by a group of travellers, holiday-makers, Scouts, etc
- the group of people living in such lodgings
- Southern African a field or paddock fenced off as pasture
- a group supporting a given doctrine or theorythe socialist camp
- Australian a place where sheep or cattle gather to rest
- (modifier) suitable for use in temporary quarters, on holiday, etc, esp by being portable and easy to set upa camp bed; a camp chair
- (intr often foll by down) to establish or set up a camp
- (intr often foll by out) to live temporarily in or as if in a tent
- (tr) to put in a camp
- effeminate; affected in mannerisms, dress, etc
- consciously artificial, exaggerated, vulgar, or mannered; self-parodying, esp when in dubious taste
- (tr) to perform or invest with a camp quality
- camp it up
- to seek to focus attention on oneself by making an ostentatious display, overacting, etc
- to flaunt one’s homosexuality
- a camp quality, style, etc
“to encamp,” 1540s, from camp (n.). Related: Camped; camping.
“place where an army lodges temporarily,” 1520s, from French camp, from Italian campo, from Latin campus “open field, level space” (also source of French champ; see campus), especially “open space for military exercise.”
A later reborrowing of the Latin word, which had been taken up in early West Germanic as *kampo-z and appeared originally in Old English as camp “contest, battle, fight, war.” This was obsolete by mid-15c. Transferred to non-military senses 1550s. Meaning “body of adherents of a doctrine or cause” is 1871. Camp-follower first attested 1810. Camp-meeting is from 1809, originally usually in reference to Methodists.
“tasteless,” 1909, homosexual slang, of uncertain origin, perhaps from mid-17c. French camper “to portray, pose” (as in se camper “put oneself in a bold, provocative pose”); popularized 1964 by Susan Sontag’s essay “Notes on Camp.” Campy is attested from 1959.
- cyclic AMP
Sleep outdoors; also, stay somewhere for an unusually long time. For example, “We camped out in a field this night” (George Washington, Journal, March 18, 1748). In the early 1900s, the expression was extended to figurative uses, meaning simply “to stay somewhere for an unusually long time,” as in She camped out at the stage door, hoping for an autograph.
In addition to the idioms beginning with camp
- camp follower
- camp it up
- camp out
- break camp
- foot in both camps
- happy camper