cham·ois (shăm′wä, shămwä′, shămē)
n. pl. cham·ois (shăm′wä, shămwä′, shămēz)
1. 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.
2. (shămē) 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.
3. (shăm′wä, shămwä′, shămē) A moderate to grayish yellow.
[French, 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).]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2022 by HarperCollins Publishers. All rights reserved.
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