• synonyms


Surveying, Civil Engineering.
  1. chain; chains.
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  1. chaplain.
  2. chapter.
  3. Chess. check.
  4. chief.
  5. child; children.
  6. church.
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  1. candle hours.
  2. clearinghouse.
  3. courthouse.
  4. custom house.
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Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for ch

Historical Examples of ch

  • Ellen, if you can't behave in ch--in the theatre, you ought not to come.

    Punchinello, Vol. 1, No. 4, April 23, 1870


  • Mek your ch'ice betwixt 'em while they'm there to be chose from.

    Bulldog And Butterfly

    David Christie Murray

  • As long ago as 1705, they had pulled down the building of Peckwater quadrangle, in Ch.


    Andrew Lang

  • When Tzu-hua was sent to Ch'i, the disciple Jan asked for grain for his mother.

  • Confucius said, After all, Ch'iu, art thou not in the wrong?

British Dictionary definitions for ch


abbreviation for
  1. custom house
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the internet domain name for
  1. Switzerland
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abbreviation for
  1. Companion of Honour (a Brit title)
  2. Switzerland (international car registration)
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Word Origin for CH

(sense 2) from French Confédération Helvétique


abbreviation for
  1. chain (unit of measure)
  2. chapter
  3. chess check
  4. chief
  5. church
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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

Word Origin and History for ch

digraph used in Old French for the "tsh" sound. In some French dialects, including that of Paris (but not that of Picardy), Latin ca- became French "tsha." This was introduced to English after the Norman Conquest, in words borrowed from Old French such as chaste, charity, chief (adj.). Under French influence, -ch- also was inserted into Anglo-Saxon words that had the same sound (e.g. bleach, chest, church) which in Old English still was written with a simple -c-, and into those that had formerly been spelled with a -c- and pronounced "k" such as chin and much.

As French evolved, the "t" sound dropped out of it, so in later loan-words from France ch- has only the sound "sh-" (chauffeur, machine (n.), chivalry, etc.).

It turns up as well in words from classical languages (chaos, echo, etc.). Most uses of -ch- in Roman Latin were in words from Greek, which would be pronounced correctly as "k" + "h," as in blockhead, but most Romans would have said merely "k." Sometimes ch- is written to keep -c- hard before a front vowel, as still in modern Italian.

In some languages (Welsh, Spanish, Czech) ch- can be treated as a separate letter and words in it are alphabetized after -c- (or, in Czech and Slovak, after -h-). The sound also is heard in more distant languages (e.g. cheetah, chintz), and the digraph also is used to represent the sound in Scottish loch.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper