Definition of chatelaine
1 a : the wife of a castellan : the mistress of a château b : the mistress of a household or of a large establishment
2 : a clasp or hook for a watch, purse, or bunch of keys
Did You Know?
The original chatelaine's domain was a castle or fort, and the chatelaine's duties were many. To complete them, she certainly needed keys. In the 18th century, the word chatelaine (borrowed from the French châtelaine) took on an additional meaning in English that alluded to this: the word came to be used for a decorative clasp or hook from which chains holding a watch, purse, keys, etc. were suspended. These popular accessories evoked the bunch of keys the original chatelaine had worn of necessity.
Origin of chatelaine
French châtelaine, feminine of châtelain
First Known Use: 1845
Rhymes with chatelaine
acid rain, aeroplane, appertain, aquaplane, Aquitaine, ascertain, Bloemfontein, bullet train, cell membrane, cellophane, Charlemagne, Charles's Wain, chatelain, counterpane, daisy-chain, down the drain, entertain, featherbrain, focal plane, foreordain, frangipane, free throw lane, gravy train, gyroplane, high-octane, hurricane, hydroplane, hyperplane, inclined plane, inhumane, Kwajalein, London plane, marocain, Mary Jane, memory lane, mise-en-scène, monoplane, Novocain, novocaine, paravane, paper-train, peneplain, pollen grain, Port of Spain, power train, preordain, pursuit plane, rattlebrain, rhizoplane, rocket plane, scatterbrain, shaggymane, Spanish Main, sugarcane, suzerain, take in vain, Tamerlane, tangent plane, terreplein, toilet train, tramontane, transmontane, unit train, urethane, wagon train, water main, weather vane, whooping crane, windowpane, yellow rain
Learn More about chatelaine
Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about "chatelaine"
Seen and Heard
What made you want to look up chatelaine? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).