- a small goat antelope (Rupicapra rupicapra) of the mountains of Europe and the Caucasus, having straight horns with the tips bent backward
- also sp. cham′my
- soft leather made from its skin or from the skin of sheep, deer, goats, etc.
- a piece of this leather, used as a polishing cloth
Origin of chamoisFrench from Late Latin camox from a native Alpine word of Indo-European origin, originally ; akin to Classical Greek kemas, young deer: see hind
- made of chamois
transitive verbcham′oised , cham′ois·ing
to polish with a chamois skin
- Either of two species of agile goat antelopes (Rupicapra rupicapra or R. pyrenaica) of mountainous regions of Europe and western Asia, having upright horns with backward-hooked tips.
- also cham·my or sham·my pl. cham·mies a. A soft leather made from the hide of these antelopes or of other animals such as deer or sheep.b. A piece of such leather or of a fabric or material made to resemble it, used as a polishing or drying cloth or in shirts.
- A moderate to grayish yellow.
Origin of chamoisFrench from Middle French from Old French from Late Latin camōx of pre-Roman Alpine origin and perhaps ultimately from Celtic kambo- crooked ( in reference to the hooked horns of the chamois; compare Old Irish and Middle Welsh camm crooked )
- A short-horned goat antelope native to mountainous terrain in southern Europe; Rupicapra rupicapra.
- (Usually as “chamois leather”) Soft pliable leather originally made from the skin of chamois (nowadays the hides of deer, sheep, and other species of goat are alternatively used).
- The traditional colour of chamois leather.