type of thin, fine linen, late 14c., from Dutch Kamerijk or Flemish Kameryk, Germanic forms of French Cambrai, name of the city in northern France where the cloth was said to have been first manufactured. The modern form of the English word has elements from both versions of the name. The place-name is from Latin Camaracum, according to Room from the personal name Camarus, "itself apparently from Latin cammarus 'a crawfish, prawn' .... It is not known who this was."
updated on September 25, 2017