Definition of camber in US English:



  • 1The slightly convex or arched shape of a road or other horizontal surface.

    ‘the deck beams are curved for the camber of the deck’
    • ‘A minority of these roads, although listed with a carriageway of constant thickness, may have had a similar surface profile, provided the roadbed on which they were formed had a central camber.’
    • ‘Every time I backed the car off the drive, for instance, it became unhelpfully scared of the camber in the road.’
    • ‘It is the design of the school that has done this because the camber of the playground comes down to this corner where it has collapsed.’
    • ‘Was something wrong with the camber of the road?’
    • ‘I know that in the past there have been fatal accidents but that was some years ago before the road was resurfaced and the camber amended.’
    • ‘People are not used to driving on windy country roads with adverse cambers and it takes them by surprise.’
    • ‘‘The camber changes as you walk along, making it very difficult for people with any kind of mobility problem,’ he said.’
    • ‘The steering requires constant concentration as it's very sensitive and prone to the slightest camber in the road.’
    • ‘I can't walk on anything that's got a camber.’
    • ‘We are planning to overlay the site with a second layer of road tar, featuring a camber to encourage water to run off.’
    • ‘The camber is all wrong and it runs down towards the houses.’
    • ‘There have been a number of accidents on the roadway and she fears that further crashes are almost inevitable, given the narrow nature of the carriageway and the fact that there appears to be some problem with the camber of the road.’
    • ‘You also have to accept the way the lightly laden front wheels move around a little at speed or on changing cambers.’
    • ‘The road surface had become uneven with potholes and poor camber.’
    • ‘When I got my breath back, I had a go at roll-starting it, using the camber of the road as a slope.’
    • ‘It could perhaps be lessened if the pavement over the bridge at this point could be realigned and lowered to the same level as the road to allow flood water to enter the beck, aided by the natural camber of the road.’
    • ‘I wasn't going too fast, but I wasn't aware of the camber and the car suddenly began to tip.’
    • ‘Their innovations in road surfacing, camber, and drainage meant that many public roads became equal to, if not better than, the toll roads that had long set the standard.’
    • ‘Mr Double revealed the highways department of Essex County Council is to study crash statistics for the past three years and may also examine issues to do with road surface, camber, lighting and parking.’
    • ‘Many parts of the road are narrow, and in some places the camber is very awkward.’
    1. 1.1British A tilt built into a road at a bend or curve, enabling vehicles to maintain speed.
      • ‘Based in Auckland, the event is a popular one with the drivers who revel in the fast and flowing ‘roller coaster’ roads, with their heavily banked cambers and rapid direction changes.’
      • ‘There's a slight bend in the road and maybe there's a camber.’
      • ‘We also pay special attention to the camber of the front and rear wheels, running high angles.’
      • ‘The fairway tilts right-to-left, so the camber goes the right way, but long hitters can miss it and go into the trees.’
      • ‘The idea is to make the bend more gradual and to increase the camber.’
      • ‘The main problem is that the camber of the corners is ideal for the racing line, but as soon as you come off that line to try and pass someone, you lose so much grip.’
      • ‘The addition of a camber to both the top and bottom bends should also improve both safety and the racing spectacle.’
      bend, turn, loop, curl, twist, hook
      View synonyms
    2. 1.2 The slight sideways inclination of the front wheels of a motor vehicle.
      • ‘The suspension camber is tuned to minimise tyre wear for the race.’
      • ‘During the test session they worked on different car set ups, the camber and the suspension.’
      • ‘A typical oval setup has positive camber in the left front and negative camber in the right front to help the car make left-hand turns.’
      • ‘The standard set-up includes revised front suspension knuckles for additional negative camber and a strengthened twist beam rear axle.’
      • ‘Positive camber means the tire is tilted away from the vehicle's center line.’
      • ‘Crew chiefs who opt for a camber that's too radical often pay the price.’
      • ‘After a few more improvements on the dampers and the camber, the car felt very promising.’
      • ‘A high mounting location for the upper control arms on the front suspension helps limit nose dive under hard braking, while a long steering knuckle provides negative camber for extra stability in cornering.’
    3. 1.3 The extent of curvature of a section of an airfoil.
      • ‘Race engineers can monitor the airflow over several sensors which helps them adjust the camber and angle of attack of the wings for downforce on the car.’
      • ‘The instrument panelmounted crank also actuated the variable camber as the pilot raised and lowered the landing gear.’
      • ‘The same is true when we say that by so doing the camber of the airfoil increases and so does the coefficient of lift.’


Late Middle English: from Old French cambre, dialect variant of chambre ‘arched’, from Latin camurus ‘curved inwards’.