Definition of chantry in English:

Share this entry


Pronunciation: /ˈtʃɑːntri/

noun (plural chantries)

1An endowment founded for a priest or priests to celebrate masses for the soul of the founder.
Example sentences
  • The leaders of society endowed chantry priests, who were permanently employed to say a daily mass for the soul of the chantry founder and his or her relations.
  • Well-endowed chantries were able to employ specific chantry priests, and to provide a chantry chapel, whether free standing or by screening off a section of a church aisle, where their duties could be performed.
  • Gilds were connected with the impulse to found chantries to send up soul-prayers in the mass, the highest form of approach to God.
1.1A chapel, altar, or other part of a church endowed by a chantry.
Example sentences
  • Large churches might have several chantries, cathedrals up to two dozen.
  • The village is named after St Wrw, whose remains are said to be buried in the chantry chapel in the churchyard.
  • They too had social selves, identities which ranged far outside church or chantry.


Late Middle English: from Old French chanterie, from chanter 'to sing'.

Share this entry

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

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