views updated Jun 11 2018

cham·ber / ˈchāmbər/ • n. 1. a hall used by a legislative or judicial body. ∎  the body that meets in such a hall. ∎  any of the houses of a legislature: the Senate chamber.2. poetic/lit. or archaic a private room, typically a bedroom. ∎  (chambers) Law a judge's room used for official proceedings not required to be held in open court.3. an enclosed space or cavity: an echo chamber. ∎  a large underground cavern. ∎  the part of a gun bore that contains the charge or bullet. ∎  Biol. a cavity in a plant, animal body, or organ: the four chambers of the heart.4. [as adj.] Mus. of or for a small group of instruments: a chamber concert.• v. [tr.] place (a bullet) into the chamber of a gun.DERIVATIVES: cham·bered adj.


views updated May 17 2018

chamber. The chamber (camera) started life as the royal bedchamber, with treasure kept under the bed, and became the financial headquarters of the early Norman monarchy. The main treasure was at first kept in Winchester, as it had been in Anglo-Saxon times. As business grew rapidly in complexity, the office of treasurer emerged. Much of the chamber's importance was lost in the reign of Henry III to the wardrobe, though it regained influence under Edward II and Edward III. By the Tudor period, the Exchequer had taken over most of the chamber's public responsibilities.

J. A. Cannon


views updated May 18 2018

chamber XIII. — (O)F. chambre :- L. camera — Gr. kamárā vault (cf. CAMERA).