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2017 Word of the Year

Chiltern Hundreds

[chil-tern] /ˈtʃɪl tərn/
plural noun, British.
1.
certain crown lands, the stewardship of which is nominally bestowed on a member of the House of Commons to provide an excuse to resign, as members are not allowed to hold titular office from the crown.
Idioms
2.
to apply for the Chiltern Hundreds, to resign or express a desire to resign from the House of Commons.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for Chiltern Hundreds
Historical Examples
  • Apply for the Chiltern Hundreds and retire into public life.

    Ulysses James Joyce
  • "Nothing easier than to accept the Chiltern Hundreds," said Sydney.

    Name and Fame Adeline Sergeant
  • Then, quite suddenly, he had applied for the Chiltern Hundreds, and left England.

    Grey Roses

    Henry Harland
  • I immediately resolved to resign my seat, and accept the Chiltern Hundreds.

  • You 'd never know a happy day nor a joyous hour till you accepted the Chiltern Hundreds, and cut them all.

    Roland Cashel Charles James Lever
  • Mr. Bradlaugh thereafter applied for the Chiltern Hundreds and, his seat being thus vacated, Mr. Labouchere moved for a new writ.

    Lord Randolph Churchill Winston Spencer Churchill
  • He was again excluded from the precincts, applied for the Chiltern Hundreds, and was again returned for Northampton.

  • Guilford hastily resumed his seat, shortly afterwards applied for the Chiltern Hundreds, and retired into comfortable obscurity.

  • There was always a Vipont ready to accept something, even the Chiltern Hundreds.

    What Will He Do With It, Complete Edward Bulwer-Lytton
  • Now there is one kind of decimals with which every member is acquainted—the Chiltern Hundreds.

British Dictionary definitions for Chiltern Hundreds

Chiltern Hundreds

plural noun
1.
(in Britain) short for Stewardship of the Chiltern Hundreds; a nominal office that an MP applies for in order to resign his seat
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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