[ chan-suh l, chahn- ]
/ ˈtʃæn səl, ˈtʃɑn- /


the space about the altar of a church, usually enclosed, for the clergy and other officials.

Origin of chancel

1275–1325; Middle English < Middle French < Late Latin cancellus lattice, railing or screen before the altar of a church, Latin cancell(ī) (plural) lattice, railing, grating; see cancel

Related forms

chan·celed, chan·celled, adjectivesub·chan·cel, noun Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for chancel

British Dictionary definitions for chancel


/ (ˈtʃɑːnsəl) /


the part of a church containing the altar, sanctuary, and choir, usually separated from the nave and transepts by a screen

Word Origin for chancel

C14: from Old French, from Latin cancellī (plural) lattice
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