a cut that is made in wood or some other material, usually at a 45° angle to the adjacent principal faces.Compare bevel.

verb (used with object)

to make a chamfer on or in.

Origin of chamfer

1595–1605; back formation from chamfering (taken as chamfer + -ing1) < Middle French chamfrein, variant of chanfreint beveled edge, orig. past participle of chanfraindre to bevel, equivalent to chant edge (< Latin canthus; see cant2) + fraindre to break < Latin frangere; see frangible
Related formscham·fer·er, nounun·cham·fered, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for chamfer

Historical Examples of chamfer

  • Chamfer the handles, as shown, for four inches from one end.

    Toy Craft

    Leon H. Baxter

  • The top was to project and have a bevel, or chamfer, also the bottom.

    Carpentry and Woodwork

    Edwin W. Foster

  • Round and chamfer the small end about an inch upon the sides.

    Steel Traps

    A. R. (Arthur Robert) Harding

  • On this account it is better to draw the chamfer at 45 degrees, as correct results may be obtained with the least trouble.

  • The chamfer circles are left out of these figures to reduce the number of lines and so keep the engraving clear.

British Dictionary definitions for chamfer



a narrow flat surface at the corner of a beam, post, etc, esp one at an angle of 45°Compare bevel (def. 1)

verb (tr)

to cut such a surface on (a beam, etc)
another word for chase 2 (def. 4)
Derived Formschamferer, noun

Word Origin for chamfer

C16: back formation from chamfering, from Old French chamfrein, from chant edge (see cant ²) + fraindre to break, from Latin frangere
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 chamfer

c.1600, "small groove cut in wood or stone," from Middle French chanfraindre (15c., Modern French chanfreiner), past participle of chanfraint. The second element seems to be from Latin frangere "to break" (see fraction); perhaps the whole word is cantum frangere "to break the edge." Meaning "bevelled surface of a square edge or corner" is attested from c.1840, of uncertain connection to the other sense.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper