camp noun (2)

1a: something so outrageously artificial, affected, inappropriate, or out-of-date as to be considered amusing This version of the play is camp: outrageous in concept and wild in its execution with double entendres flying every which way.

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

2: exaggerated effeminate mannerisms (as of speech or gesture)


camp adjective

: of, relating to, being, or displaying camp : CAMPY camp send-ups of the songs of the fifties and sixties —John Elsom

https://letslearnslang.com/camp/ says

Meaning (Noun) The word “camp” is not hiking through the woods and sleeping in a tent. In Gen Z slang, camp is something ironically trendy, like a fashion statement that seems odd but is trending all over the world.

Origin The term “camp” was derived from the French word “se camper” which means to pose exaggeratedly. It was first used in the high fashion industry but later on, became a common term among Gen Z people.

Demographic (Who Uses This Word) Camp is mainly used by the fashion industry and fashion enthusiasts around the world. Today, not only Gen Z people use the term but everyone of any age group and gender who love to express themselves extravagantly.

Camp Used in a Sentence Example 1: Your ‘fit is camp from head to toe. I love it! Example 2: I don’t think I can pull off being camp. I’m not that confident.

Does MW define camp with a negative connotation by "inappropriate" and "absurdly", while letslearnslang with a positive one by "trendy" and "love to express themsleves"?

  • You need to read the texts more carefully. "Ironically trendy" is not really positive (look up "irony"), and Let's Learn Slang says the word "camp" is used by "everyone of any age group and gender who love to express themselves extravagantly", not that it refers to people "who love to express themselves extravagantly".
    – Stuart F
    Feb 27 at 17:19

1 Answer 1


Almost any word can be made to sound much more positive, or much more negative, using things like context and tone of voice.

In my opinion, the “default” meaning of camp is slightly negative - but since it is a very mild negative, you could easily make it into a positive, depending on how you use it.


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