Share this entry

Share this page


Syllabification: chi·cane
Pronunciation: /SHiˈkān, CHi-

Definition of chicane in English:


1An artificial narrowing or turn on a road or auto-racing course.
Example sentences
  • During the first lap, we encounter a very narrow chicane that all the drivers confront at high velocity and together as a group.
  • The bulge in question is an artificial chicane that highways engineers have placed outside the village cemetery.
  • At that point the only way they would condone it would be if Turn 13 was slowed down through the use of some sort of chicane.
2 dated (In card games) a hand without cards of one particular suit; a void.
Example sentences
  • With an average hand containing a chicane, an ace, and some low trumps, lead the ace followed by a low card of the same suit.
3 archaic Chicanery.


archaic Back to top  
1.1 [with object] Deceive or trick (someone).


late 17th century (in the senses 'chicanery' and 'use chicanery'): from French chicane (noun), chicaner (verb) 'quibble', of unknown origin.

  • A chicane describes a sharp double bend forming an obstacle on a motor racing track; it is also an old word for chicanery (late 16th century) ‘trickery’. The origin is the French noun chicane, and verb chicaner ‘quibble’, but earlier details are unknown.

Definition of chicane in:

Share this entry

Share this page


What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove adverts and access premium resources

Word of the day apathetic
Pronunciation: apəˈθɛtɪk
showing or feeling no interest, enthusiasm, or concern