[chan-ter, chahn-]


a person who chants; singer.
a chorister; precentor.
the chief singer or priest of a chantry.
the pipe of a bagpipe provided with finger holes for playing the melody.

Origin of chanter

1250–1300; chant + -er1; replacing Middle English chantour < Anglo-French, variant of Old French chanteor < Latin cantātōr-, equivalent to cantā(re) to sing (see chant) + -tor -tor
Related formschant·er·ship, nounun·der·chant·er, noun Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for chanter

Historical Examples of chanter

  • Never a roar of the drone or a sob of the chanter but's in the Gaelic tongue.

    John Splendid

    Neil Munro

  • The chanter did not arrive until the afternoon of October 23.

  • Then it became the province of the chanter to completely obliterate it.

  • Behind the priest and a chanter stood the notabilities on a spot reserved for them.

    War and Peace

    Leo Tolstoy

  • He is a cogger of dice, I tell thee—a chanter of horseflesh.


    William Makepeace Thackeray

British Dictionary definitions for chanter



a person who chants
the pipe on a set of bagpipes that is provided with finger holes and on which the melody is played
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 chanter

"singer, composer," late 14c., from Old French chanteor (Modern French chanteur), from Latin cantorem "singer," from cantare "to sing" (see chant (v.)).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper