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noun chap·el \ˈcha-pəl\

Simple Definition of chapel

  • : a small church

  • : a room or small building that is used for private church services or prayer by a family or group

  • : a room or area in a church that is used for prayer or small religious services

Source: Merriam-Webster's Learner's Dictionary

Full Definition of chapel

  1. 1 :  a subordinate or private place of worship: as a :  a place of worship serving a residence or institution b :  a small house of worship usually associated with a main church c :  a room or recess in a church for meditation and prayer or small religious services

  2. 2 :  a place of worship used by a Christian group other than an established church <a nonconformist chapel>

  3. 3 :  a choir of singers belonging to a chapel

  4. 4 :  a chapel service or assembly at a school or college

  5. 5 :  an association of the employees in a printing office

  6. 6 a :  funeral home b :  a room for funeral services in a funeral home

Examples of chapel in a sentence

  1. a wedding chapel in Las Vegas

  2. Church services will be held in the chapel this week.

Did You Know?

Chapel is ultimately derived from the Late Latin word cappa, meaning "cloak." How did we get from a garment to a building? The answer to this question has to do with a shrine created to hold the sacred cloak of St. Martin of Tours. In Medieval Latin, this shrine was called "cappella" (from a diminutive of cappa meaning "short cloak or cape") in reference to the relic it contained. Later, the meaning of "cappella" broadened to include any building that housed a sacred relic, and eventually to a place of worship. Old French picked up the term as "chapele," which in turn passed into English as "chapel" in the 13th century. In case you are wondering, the term a cappella, meaning "without instrumental accompaniment," entered English from Italian, where it literally means "in chapel style."

Origin of chapel

Middle English, from Anglo-French chapele, from Medieval Latin cappella, from diminutive of Late Latin cappa cloak; from the cloak of St. Martin of Tours preserved as a sacred relic in a chapel built for that purpose

First Known Use: 13th century

Rhymes with chapel

CHAPEL Defined for Kids


noun chap·el \ˈcha-pəl\

Definition of chapel for Students

  1. 1 :  a building or a room or place for prayer or special religious services

  2. 2 :  a religious service or assembly held in a school or college

Learn More about chapel

Seen and Heard

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a timid, meek, or unassertive person

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