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[shoh-fer, shoh-fur] /ˈʃoʊ fər, ʃoʊˈfɜr/
a person employed to drive a private automobile or limousine for the owner.
a person employed to drive a car or limousine that transports paying passengers.
verb (used with object)
to drive (a vehicle) as a chauffeur.
to transport by car:
Saturday mornings I have to chauffeur the kids to their music lessons.
verb (used without object)
to work as a chauffeur:
He chauffeured for a time right after the war.
Origin of chauffeur
1895-1900; < French, equivalent to chauff(er) to heat (see chafe) + -eur -eur
Related forms
unchauffeured, adjective
well-chauffeured, adjective
Can be confused
chauffeur, shofar. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for chauffeur
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • "Layin' a stone—or somethin'—my lady," said the chauffeur in a puzzled voice.

    The Coryston Family Mrs. Humphry Ward
  • The chauffeur took his seat and looked around at Bob, waiting.

    Sure Pop and the Safety Scouts

    Roy Rutherford Bailey
  • The chauffeur was busied with his car fiddling with the machinery.

    A Nest of Spies Pierre Souvestre
  • The chauffeur smiled approval, while continuing to tinker at his machine.

    A Nest of Spies Pierre Souvestre
  • The chauffeur began to supply the wants of his machine with the help of an apprentice.

    A Nest of Spies Pierre Souvestre
British Dictionary definitions for chauffeur


/ˈʃəʊfə; ʃəʊˈfɜː/
a person employed to drive a car
to act as driver for (a person): he chauffeured me to the stadium, he chauffeurs for the Duke
Derived Forms
chauffeuse (ʃəʊˈfɜːz) noun:feminine
Word Origin
C20: from French, literally: stoker, from chauffer to heat
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for chauffeur

1896, originally "a motorist," from French chauffeur, literally "stoker," operator of a steam engine, French nickname for early motorists, from chauffer "to heat," from Old French chaufer "to heat, warm up; to become hot" (see chafe). The first motor-cars were steam-driven. Sense of "professional or paid driver of a private motor car" is from 1902.

The '95 Duryea wagon, which won the Chicago contest Fall, was exhibited at the Detroit Horse Show last week. Charles B. King, treasurer of the American Motor League, acted as "chauffeur," as the French say. ["The Horseless Age," April 1896]


1902, from chauffeur (n.). Related: Chauffeured; chauffeuring.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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