court of chancery


[chan-suh-ree, chahn-]
noun, plural chan·cer·ies.
  1. the office or department of a chancellor; chancellery.
  2. an office of public records, especially those of the Lord Chancellor in England.
  3. (in England) the Lord Chancellor's court, now a division of the High Court of Justice.
  4. Law.
    1. Also called court of chancery.a court having jurisdiction in equity; court of equity.
    2. equity(defs 3a, b).
  5. the administrative office of a diocese.
  6. Roman Catholic Church. a department of the Curia Romana now having the responsibility for issuing bulls to establish new dioceses, benefices, etc.
  1. in chancery,
    1. litigation in a court of chancery.
    2. Wrestling, Boxing.(of a contestant's head) held under an opponent's arm.
    3. in a helpless or embarrassing position.

Origin of chancery

1325–75; Middle English chancerie, variant of chancelrie, syncopated variant of chancellerie chancellery Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

British Dictionary definitions for court-of-chancery


noun plural -ceries
  1. Also called: Chancery Division (in England) the Lord Chancellor's court, now a division of the High Court of Justice
  2. Also called: court of chancery (in the US) a court of equity
  3. British the political section or offices of an embassy or legation
  4. another name for chancellery
  5. a court of public records; archives
  6. Christianity a diocesan office under the supervision of a bishop's chancellor, having custody of archives, issuing official enactments, etc
  7. in chancery
    1. law(of a suit) pending in a court of equity
    2. wrestling boxing(of a competitor's head) locked under an opponent's arm
    3. in an awkward or helpless situation

Word Origin for chancery

C14: shortened from chancellery
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 court-of-chancery



late 14c., "court of the Lord Chancellor of England," contracted from chancellery (c.1300), from Old French chancelerie (12c.), from Medieval Latin cancellaria (see chancellor).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper