Etymology
Advertisement

camp (n.)

1520s, "place where an army lodges temporarily," from French camp, in this sense from Italian campo, from Latin campus "open field, level space," especially "open space for military exercise" (see campus).

The direct descendant of Latin campus in French is champ "a field." The Latin word had been taken up in early West Germanic as *kampo-z and appeared originally in Old English as camp "contest, battle, fight, war." This word was obsolete by mid-15c.

Transferred to non-military senses by 1550s. Meaning "body of adherents of a doctrine or cause" is from 1871. Camp-follower "one who follows an army without being officially connected to it," such as sutlers, washer-women, etc., first attested 1810. Camp-meeting "religious meeting for prayer, etc., held in an outdoor camp" is from 1809, American English, originally and especially in reference to Methodists. Camp-fever (1758) is any epidemic fever incident to life in a camp, especially typhus or typhoid. A camp-stool (1794) has a flexible seat and cross-legs and is made to be folded up and packed away when not in use.

camp (adj.)

"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.

camp (v.)

"to encamp, establish or make a camp," 1540s, from camp (n.). Related: Camped; camping. Later "to live temporarily in tents or rude places of shelter" (1610s), in modern times often for health or pleasure. Camping out is attested from 1834, American English.

Others are reading

Advertisement
Advertisement
Definitions of camp
1
camp (n.)
temporary living quarters specially built by the army for soldiers;
wherever he went in the camp the men were grumbling
camp (n.)
a group of people living together in a camp;
the whole camp laughed at his mistake
camp (n.)
temporary lodgings in the country for travelers or vacationers;
level ground is best for parking and camp areas
camp (n.)
an exclusive circle of people with a common purpose;
Synonyms: clique / coterie / ingroup / inner circle / pack
camp (n.)
a penal institution (often for forced labor);
China has many camps for political prisoners
camp (n.)
something that is considered amusing not because of its originality but because of its unoriginality;
the living room was pure camp
camp (n.)
shelter for persons displaced by war or political oppression or for religious beliefs;
Synonyms: refugee camp
camp (n.)
a site where care and activities are provided for children during the summer months;
city kids get to see the country at a summer camp
Synonyms: summer camp
2
camp (v.)
live in or as if in a tent;
Can we go camping again this summer?
The houseguests had to camp in the living room
Synonyms: encamp / camp out / bivouac / tent
camp (v.)
establish or set up a camp;
Synonyms: camp down
camp (v.)
give an artificially banal or sexual quality to;
3
camp (adj.)
providing sophisticated amusement by virtue of having artificially (and vulgarly) mannered or banal or sentimental qualities;
they played up the silliness of their roles for camp effect
Synonyms: campy
From wordnet.princeton.edu