arm·​chair | \ ˈärm-ˌcher How to pronounce armchair (audio) \

Definition of armchair

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a chair with armrests



Definition of armchair (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : remote from direct dealing with problems : theoretical rather than practical armchair strategists
2 : sharing vicariously in another's experiences an armchair traveler

Examples of armchair in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Consider the precursor of the modern skybox that appeared in 1883 in Chicago’s Lakefront Park — 18 private viewing boxes, outfitted with upholstered armchairs and served by waiters. Blair Kamin,, "Column: These fields of dreams aren’t in Iowa cornfields," 21 June 2019 That armchair was certainly not part of Michelle's California coastal vibe, but her kids had memories of cuddling with their dad in it. NBC News, "HGTV's 'Unspouse My House' aims to heal broken hearts by getting rid of exes' ugly stuff," 20 June 2019 The Shadowy armchair has a Seussian exaggerated profile with high back, curvy canopy, and eye-popping colorways like black and white or orange and yellow. Washington Post, "RIGHT AT HOME: Outdoor decor that’s ‘out there’ and edgy," 19 June 2019 In the Columbus Bar, armchairs faced a wall of windows, the better to watch the sun sink into the horizon. Amy Yee, WSJ, "Cruise to Russia: An Easy, Affordable Way to Soak Up St. Petersburg," 22 May 2019 An armchair archaeologist raised on myths of Atlantis and Indiana Jones movies might be disappointed to learn that researchers have more modest hopes for an Aquaterra find. Gemma Tarlach, Discover Magazine, "Rising Seas Swallowed Countless Archaeological Sites. Scientists Want Them Back," 20 May 2019 The dining nook’s midcentury table is Italian, the 18th-century armchair is French, the stools are by Gabriel Scott, and the pendant is by Marcel Wanders for Flos. Nick Sullivan, ELLE Decor, "A Snug New York Bachelor Pad Is Morphed Into a Swank and Spacious Home," 20 Nov. 2018 But that’s quibbling, and the time for armchair quarterbacking is over. David Roberts, Vox, "Washington votes no on a carbon tax — again," 6 Nov. 2018 The objects that are left behind are resonant with that person who no longer interacts with those objects, sits in that armchair, cooks with those utensils, makes that bed, closes those curtains, puts that television set on, moves through the rooms. Keaton Bell, Vogue, "Annie Lennox Traveled the World and the Seven Seas—and Made an Exhibit of Her Life," 25 May 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

There is nothing that political pundits and armchair pollsters at home love as much as a flash of emotional drama in the midst of a presidential debate. Walter Shapiro, The New Republic, "Joe Biden: Bruised Over Busing, But Still Standing," 28 June 2019 TARA SULLIVAN Kyrie Irving is at it again, a series of enigmatic social media posts turning us into armchair psychologists with no real read on the inner workings of the point guard’s brain. Tara Sullivan,, "Kyrie Irving’s high school coach believes a departure is good for both sides," 24 June 2019 Boston is no different than any other team in the NHL, with players hiding injuries at a rate unfathomable to us armchair athletes. Tara Sullivan,, "Brockton golfer Matt Parziale keeping very busy, and other items . . .," 19 June 2019 The detective community and the armchair sleuths had been calling him EAR/ONS. Julia Wick,, "Essential California: Golden State Killer case's twisted, painful path," 11 June 2019 To conduct a preliminary Google search is to be inundated with academic papers by electromagnetic scientists and vague theories from armchair experts. Steff Yotka, Vogue, "Will Blue Make You Psychic? Can Yellow Detox Your Mind? A Color Therapist Weighs in on Fall 2019’s Color Trends," 4 Apr. 2019 Saban replaced Hurts, his two-year starter, with Tagovailoa, inviting armchair coaches over for some sweet tea Tuesday morning. New York Times, "Why Nick Saban Is the Ultimate Masochist," 9 Jan. 2018 Their Go Into The Story blog on Medium has published a six-part series that can help any budding screenwriter, critic, sociologist or armchair anthropologist learn how to read and analyze the Get Out script. Ellen Mcgirt, Fortune, "raceAhead: The #MeToo Stars Shine at The Golden Globes," 8 Jan. 2018 From there, Curry displayed everything armchair doctors and overprotective Warriors fans hoped to see. Ben Golliver,, "Stephen Curry Returns in Spectacular Fashion, But He’s Just Getting Started," 2 May 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'armchair.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of armchair


1585, in the meaning defined above


1809, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Dictionary Entries near armchair

arm bar

arm board

arm candy



arme blanche


Statistics for armchair

Last Updated

8 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for armchair

The first known use of armchair was in 1585

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English Language Learners Definition of armchair

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a chair with supports for your arms



English Language Learners Definition of armchair (Entry 2 of 2)

used to describe people who like to read about or watch the dangerous or exciting activities of other people
used to describe people who like to give opinions about matters they do not have to deal with themselves and do not have responsibility for


arm·​chair | \ ˈärm-ˌcher How to pronounce armchair (audio) \

Kids Definition of armchair

: a chair with armrests

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More from Merriam-Webster on armchair

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with armchair

Spanish Central: Translation of armchair

Nglish: Translation of armchair for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of armchair for Arabic Speakers

Comments on armchair

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characterized by aphorism

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