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chair rail

a molding on an interior wall for preventing the backs of chairs from rubbing against plaster.
Origin of chair rail
First recorded in 1835-45 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for chair rail
Historical Examples
  • chair rail, also thought to be original, is installed on all exposed areas of wall in the room.

    Green Spring Farm Ross Netherton
  • Both are approximately 11 by 11 feet and have random-width flooring and chair rail on two sides of the room.

    Green Spring Farm Ross Netherton
  • Bedroom walls have plain plaster finish and plain wooden baseboards, no cornices, and no chair rail.

    Green Spring Farm Ross Netherton
  • The chair rail is carved in a fret pattern and the dog-eared fireplace mold in the familiar egg-and-dart design.

    Seaport in Virginia

    Gay Montague Moore
  • His head leaned to one side and found the chair rail, and he knew nothing more.

    Northwest! Harold Bindloss
  • Jardine nodded, and sitting down, waited until Jimmy's head slipped from the chair rail and the jerk woke him up.

    Northwest! Harold Bindloss
  • The central passage, paneled to chair rail height and plastered above, was as dark as night when all the doors were closed.

    The Stronghold Miriam Haynie
Contemporary definitions for chair rail

a piece of molding attached to a wall, usu. separating the dado or wainscot from the upper wall, which is used to prevent chair backs from damaging the wall


Installing a chair rail will create a dramatic addition to any room.'s 21st Century Lexicon
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