Star Chamber Definition

stärchāmbər
noun
A 15th-century to 17th-century English court consisting of judges who were appointed by the Crown and sat in closed session on cases involving state security.
American Heritage
A royal English court or tribunal abolished in 1641, notorious for its secret sessions without jury, and for its harsh and arbitrary judgments and its use of torture to force confessions.
Webster's New World
Any similar tribunal or inquisitorial body.
Webster's New World
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adjective
Secret, harsh, or arbitrary, as in procedures.
American Heritage
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Other Word Forms of Star Chamber

Noun

Singular:
Star Chamber
Plural:
star-chambers

Origin of Star Chamber

  • From Star Chamber, an English court of law that sat at the royal Palace of Westminster from the late 15th century until 1641. The court was set up to ensure the fair enforcement of laws against prominent people, but over time it evolved into a political weapon, a symbol of the misuse and abuse of power by the English monarchy and courts.

    From Wiktionary

  • So called because the ceiling of the original courtroom was decorated with stars

    From American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition

  • From Star Chamber

    From American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition

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