Definition of chamberlain in English:


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  • 1 historical An officer who manages the household of a monarch or noble.

    ‘In fact, a former chamberlain to the Crown Prince described the remarks as the equivalent to a declaration of war.’
    • ‘The son of a Yorkist retainer, he came into prominence at the beginning of the reign as chamberlain of the household.’
    • ‘Always a charming courtier, Dudley had managed to obtain a sinecure as chamberlain to Grand Duchess Maria Maddalena, wife of Cosimo II.’
    • ‘They were represented by the great chamberlain to the emperor and his deputy.’
    • ‘The knowledge he displayed of that court's personnel convinced Louis XVI's former chamberlain, two of his former private secretaries, and a former lady-in-waiting that Naundorff spoke the truth.’
    1. 1.1British The treasurer of a corporation or public body.
      ‘The chamberlains took over accounting responsibilities from the bailiffs in 1465 and in the same year Reynold Rokes was appointed town clerk.’
      • ‘Its treasurer was the head of the administration, but the chamberlain made financial policy.’
      • ‘The 1555 recension continues this principle, although by that time it was the chamberlains who were the accounting officers.’
      • ‘Unfortunately, they had been discovered by a chamberlain and were each receiving admonishments.’
      • ‘He gradually rose on the Stratford town council, serving as one of the two chamberlains, who had charge of borough property and finances, from 1561 to 1563.’



/ˈCHāmbərlən/ /ˈtʃeɪmbərlən/


Middle English (denoting a servant in a bedchamber): via Old French from Old Saxon kamera, from Latin camera ‘vault’ (see chamber).