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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. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for chair rail
Historical Examples
  • 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
  • chair rail, also thought to be original, is installed on all exposed areas of wall in the room.

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

    Green Spring Farm Ross Netherton
  • 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
  • His head leaned to one side and found the chair rail, and he knew nothing more.

    Northwest! Harold Bindloss
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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