Definition of chair in English:

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Pronunciation: /tʃɛː/


1A separate seat for one person, typically with a back and four legs.
Example sentences
  • Cafe tables and chairs face a bench seat below a lowered ceiling that curves for an atmospheric effect.
  • Four navy blue upholstered chairs surrounded a wooden coffee table that had stacks of magazines on top.
  • We ordered a dining table and four chairs and were given a delivery time of two weeks.
1.1 (the chair) short for electric chair.
Example sentences
  • They fear this peaceful drug dealer and, because of this fear, they want him to die by the chair of electrocution.
  • At the trial the man is sent down for murder and seeing as it's Texas he's sent to the electric chair.
  • One by one, states are pulling the plug on the chairs popularly known as Old Sparky.
electric chair;
electrocution, execution
2The person in charge of a meeting or of an organization (used as a neutral alternative to chairman or chairwoman): she’s the chair of a research committee
More example sentences
  • The princess is the chair of the sister organization in the United Kingdom.
  • Members will choose a new chair during the next meeting, scheduled for November 17th.
  • ‘Mr Clark was the chair of the meeting and made a joke of this,’ Mr Morgan said.
2.1The post of a chairperson: he was due to step down after a three-year stint in the chair
More example sentences
  • A contest for the chair was well sign posted in advance and resulted in a full house.
  • Only DC Thomson in its Dundee stronghold has reserved its editors' chairs for Scotsmen.
  • His career experienced a renaissance in 2002, when he became the chair of the Constitutional Convention of the EU.
3A professorship: he held a chair in physics
More example sentences
  • In a room full of students, college professors and department chairs, nervous laughter again followed.
  • By the 1920's the German historical school was on its last legs but still ensconced in the professorial chairs.
  • The Smiths' gift will be used for endowed chairs, professorships and student scholarships.
4chiefly British A metal socket holding a rail in place on a railway sleeper.


[with object]
1Act as chairperson of or preside over (an organization, meeting, or public event): the debate was chaired by the Archbishop of York
More example sentences
  • The meeting was chaired by the President who welcomed a full attendance of members.
  • The meeting was chaired by the president, who welcomed the members.
  • Tonight I'm chairing a public meeting in Hoveton on policing issues and then tomorrow morning we have Michael Howard coming to Cromer.
preside over, take the chair of, be in the chair at, officiate at, moderate;
lead, direct, conduct, run, manage, control, be in charge of, be in control of, have control of, supervise, superintend, oversee, guide
2British Carry (someone) aloft in a chair or in a sitting position to celebrate a victory: no one seemed anxious to chair him round the hall
More example sentences
  • So magical had been his performance that he was chaired from the ground by his opponents as well as his own team-members!
  • You've never seen anyone get to the victory stand so fast, even with his short-stop house-mate Ruben's failed effort to chair him up there.
  • At the completion of the game, Warne lapped up yet another standing ovation from the 79,000-strong crowd, the champ responding in kind, bowing and blowing kisses to the crowd before a futile attempt to chair him off the ground.


take the chair

Act as chairperson: the account executive will usually take the chair in meetings
More example sentences
  • Only if the Nordic bid was to be eliminated at this stage would Johansson take the chair as president of Uefa.
  • The election process was swift with the past vice president taking the chair as president for the next two years.
  • Kathy was a popular choice as President of the Kildare Guild and took the chair on many occasions - a role which she filled in a dignified and common-sense manner.


Middle English: from Old French chaiere (modern chaire 'bishop's throne, etc.', chaise 'chair'), from Latin cathedra 'seat', from Greek kathedra. Compare with cathedral.

  • cathedral from Middle English:

    First used in the term cathedral church, a church containing the bishop's throne, cathedral comes from the Latin word for a seat or throne, cathedra, which is also the source of chair (Middle English). The term ex cathedra, meaning ‘with the full authority of office’, is a reference to the authority of the pope; its literal meaning in Latin is ‘from the chair’.

Words that rhyme with chair

affair, affaire, air, Altair, Althusser, Anvers, Apollinaire, Astaire, aware, Ayer, Ayr, bare, bear, bêche-de-mer, beware, billionaire, Blair, blare, Bonaire, cafetière, care, chargé d'affaires, chemin de fer, Cher, Clair, Claire, Clare, commissionaire, compare, concessionaire, cordon sanitaire, couvert, Daguerre, dare, debonair, declare, derrière, despair, doctrinaire, éclair, e'er, elsewhere, ensnare, ere, extraordinaire, Eyre, fair, fare, fayre, Finisterre, flair, flare, Folies-Bergère, forbear, forswear, foursquare, glair, glare, hair, hare, heir, Herr, impair, jardinière, Khmer, Kildare, La Bruyère, lair, laissez-faire, legionnaire, luminaire, mal de mer, mare, mayor, meunière, mid-air, millionaire, misère, Mon-Khmer, multimillionaire, ne'er, Niger, nom de guerre, outstare, outwear, pair, pare, parterre, pear, père, pied-à-terre, Pierre, plein-air, prayer, questionnaire, rare, ready-to-wear, rivière, Rosslare, Santander, savoir faire, scare, secretaire, share, snare, solitaire, Soufrière, spare, square, stair, stare, surface-to-air, swear, Tailleferre, tare, tear, their, there, they're, vin ordinaire, Voltaire, ware, wear, Weston-super-Mare, where, yeah

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