Definition of chancellor in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈCHans(ə)lər/


1A senior state or legal official.
Example sentences
  • A number of the chancellor's senior party allies - including some influential state premiers - have begun to hint that he should consider stepping down after seven years in power.
  • In the 14th century the chancellor entered the legal system when he began to hear appeals from subjects unable to obtain justice from the common law courts.
  • At Tweed, union officials now wait in line to see the chancellor, with everyone else.
1.1The head of the government in some European countries, such as Germany.
Example sentences
  • It provided West Germany's first three Chancellors: Adenauer, Erhard, and Kiesinger.
  • Adolf Hitler was the Chancellor and Fuhrher of Germany.
  • After all, nobody gets worked up when German Chancellors commemorate the thousands of ordinary soldiers who died for their motherland during the war.
1.2US The presiding judge of a chancery court.
Example sentences
  • Yet in following the common law, the chancellor necessarily knew the common law and the common lawyers eventually came to know very well the equitable principles being grafted upon their own law.
  • He started, referring to the chancellor of the court.
  • The controller general tried to put an end to the dispute by having the chancellor overrule the court and undo its modifications.
1.3US The president or chief administrative officer of a college or university.
Example sentences
  • The new academic standards are part of a series of NCAA reforms championed by Division I university presidents and chancellors.
  • The staff conveyed these concerns to the current chancellor after he took office in January 2000.
  • The remainder of the $6 million was committed by the presidents and chancellors of the participating universities, Schell said.
1.4chiefly British The nonresident honorary head of a college or university.
Example sentences
  • He also faxed a message to the university chancellor and education minister.
  • In Edinburgh's case, rectors come second in the formal hierarchy of the university, after the chancellor but before the principal.
  • Dorothy will be presented with her honorary degree by the university's chancellor Lord Chris Patten of Barnes.
1.5A bishop’s law officer.
Example sentences
  • Until the dissolution of the monasteries, Oxford came within the diocese of Lincoln, with the chancellor appointed by the bishop.
  • He is qualified for appointment as chancellor of the diocese and has satisfied the bishop that he is a communicant.
1.6 (Chancellor) short for Chancellor of the Exchequer.
Example sentences
  • Our Chancellor and First Minister are not of a type.
  • Though Brown would not challenge Smith personally for the leadership, as the new shadow chancellor he challenged his policy.
  • Crisis teams were immediately formed in the Foreign Ministry and the chancellor's office.



Pronunciation: /ˈCHans(ə)lərˌSHip/
Example sentences
  • A proof of this is that he has turned down umpteen offers of vice chancellorships.
  • Whereupon President Hindenburg appointed Hitler to the chancellorship, and the Nazis started taking over.
  • Hitler ascended to the chancellorship, suspended constitutional rights and banned all opposition political parties, sent the Brown Shirts into the streets and issued the first decrees stripping Jews of their rights.


Late Old English, from Old French cancelier, from late Latin cancellarius 'porter, secretary' (originally a court official stationed at the grating separating public from judges), from cancelli 'crossbars'.

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: chan·cel·lor

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