[ chair ]
See synonyms for: chairchairedchairingchairs on

  1. a seat, especially for one person, usually having four legs for support and a rest for the back and often having rests for the arms.

  2. something that serves as a chair or supports like a chair: The two men clasped hands to make a chair for their injured companion.

  1. a seat of office or authority.

  2. a position of authority, as of a judge, professor, etc.

  3. the person occupying a seat of office, especially the chairperson of a meeting: The speaker addressed the chair.

  4. (in an orchestra) the position of a player, assigned by rank; desk: first clarinet chair.

  5. the chair, Informal. electric chair.

  6. (in reinforced-concrete construction) a device for maintaining the position of reinforcing rods or strands during the pouring operation.

  7. a glassmaker's bench having extended arms on which a blowpipe is rolled in shaping glass.

  8. British Railroads. a metal block for supporting a rail and securing it to a crosstie or the like.

verb (used with object)
  1. to place or seat in a chair.

  2. to install in office.

  1. to preside over; act as chairperson of: to chair a committee.

  2. British. to carry (a hero or victor) aloft in triumph.

verb (used without object)
  1. to preside over a meeting, committee, etc.

Idioms about chair

  1. get the chair, to be sentenced to die in the electric chair.

  2. take the chair,

    • to begin or open a meeting.

    • to preside at a meeting; act as chairperson.

Origin of chair

First recorded in 1250–1300; Middle English chaiere, from Old French, from Latin cathedra; see cathedra

usage note For chair

5. Is it chair, chairman, chairwoman, or chairperson? See chairperson.

Other words from chair

  • chair·less, adjective
  • un·chair, verb (used with object)

Words that may be confused with chair

Words Nearby chair Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use chair in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for chair


/ (tʃɛə) /

  1. a seat with a back on which one person sits, typically having four legs and often having arms

  2. an official position of authority: a chair on the board of directors

  1. the person chairing a debate or meeting: the speaker addressed the chair

  2. a professorship: the chair of German

  3. railways an iron or steel cradle bolted to a sleeper in which the rail sits and is locked in position

  4. short for sedan chair

  5. in the chair chairing a debate or meeting

  6. take the chair to preside as chairman for a meeting, etc

  7. the chair an informal name for electric chair

  1. to preside over (a meeting)

  2. British to carry aloft in a sitting position after a triumph or great achievement

  1. to provide with a chair of office

  2. to install in a chair

Origin of chair

C13: from Old French chaiere, from Latin cathedra, from Greek kathedra, from kata- down + hedra seat; compare cathedral

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

Other Idioms and Phrases with chair


see musical chairs.

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.