Definition of chancery in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈtʃɑːns(ə)ri/

noun (plural chanceries)

1 (Chancery or Chancery Division) Law (In the UK) the Lord Chancellor’s court, a division of the High Court of Justice.
Example sentences
  • Any person aggrieved by the inclusion of any land by amendment of the register has, by section 14, a right of appeal to the Chancery Division of the High Court.
  • Secondly, after the Judicature Acts 1873-1875 it was possible for some negligence cases to be assigned to the Chancery Division of the High Court; such cases would be heard without a jury.
  • This is an appeal by the claimant below, against an order of His Honour made on 12 March 2001 when he was sitting as an additional judge of the Chancery Division of the High Court.
1.1US A court of law that decides legal cases based on the principle of equity.
Example sentences
  • The fight began in Barbour County, where Dent and the other Democratic candidates quickly filed suit in the Barbour County chancery court at Clayton.
  • A chancery court valued the dentist's practice at $145,000, goodwill included.
  • On November 2, 1998 the chancery action was dismissed ‘without prejudice’.
1.2 historical The court of a bishop’s chancellor.
Example sentences
  • I cannot effect the decisions that are made in Rome or in the chanceries of the US bishops too terribly much.
2chiefly British An office attached to an embassy or consulate.
Example sentences
  • More than 6500 sq m of this stone material has been used in the chancery and the other embassy buildings.
  • The premises of a foreign chancery or embassy are not outside the territory to which the criminal law, otherwise operating in this Territory, applies.
  • The king possessed the chancery, and then the exchequer too: they were becoming busier and busier.
3A public record office.
Example sentences
  • The survival of chancery records from 1199 onwards permits historians to look, for the first time, into the daily routine of the king's government at work.
  • So there is also a kind of trial by media that is taking place before there is a trial by law: the adversarial culture of American law meets the stonewalling culture of the chancery office.


in chancery

informal (Of a boxer or wrestler) with their head held, contrary to the rules, between the opponent’s arm and body and unable to avoid blows.
Example sentences
  • His head was in chancery against the ropes
  • Throughout the fight, Greb displayed a tendency to wrestle, holding his opponent's head in chancery while he himself inflicted unfair punishment.


Late Middle English: contraction of chancellery.

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: chan|cery

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