Usage: often attributive
Etymology: Middle French, probably from Middle French dialect (Picard) or Old Occitan, from Latin campus plain, field
a. a place usually away from urban areas where tents or simple buildings (as cabins) are erected for shelter or for temporary residence (as for laborers, prisoners, or vacationers) <migrant labor camp> b. a group of tents, cabins, or huts <fishing camps along the river> c. a settlement newly sprung up in a lumbering or mining region d. a place usually in the country for recreation or instruction often during the summer <goes to camp every July>; also a program offering access to recreational or educational facilities for a limited period of time <computer camp> <a resort offering boating and hiking camps> e. a preseason training session for athletes <the star pitcher injured in camp this spring> 2. a. a body of persons encamped b. (1) a group of persons; especially a group engaged in promoting or defending a theory, doctrine, position, or person (2) an ideological position 3. military service or life II. verb Date: 1543 intransitive verb 1. to make camp or occupy a camp 2. to live temporarily in a camp or outdoors — often used with out 3. to take up one's quarters ; lodge 4. to take up one's position ; settle down — often used with out <camp out in the library for the afternoon> transitive verb to put into a camp; also accommodate III. noun Etymology: origin unknown Date: circa 1909 1. exaggerated effeminate mannerisms exhibited especially by homosexuals 2. a. something so outrageously artificial, affected, inappropriate, or out-of-date as to be considered amusing b. a style or mode of personal or creative expression that is absurdly exaggerated and often fuses elements of high and popular culture <a movie that celebrates camp> • campily adverb • campiness noun • campy adjective IV. adjective Date: 1909 of, relating to, being, or displaying camp <camp send-ups of the songs of the fifties and sixties — John Elsom> V. intransitive verb Date: 1925 to engage in camp ; exhibit the qualities of camp <he…was camping, hands on hips, with a quick eye to notice every man who passed by — R. M. McAlmon>
New Collegiate Dictionary. 2001.