: small pieces of paper or cardboard produced in punching paper tape or data cards
also : a piece of chad
chadless adjective

Examples of chad in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The fight brewing over these ballots is poised to become critical in future legal challenges; postmarks may become the hanging chad of 2020. Eliza Griswold, The New Yorker, 3 Nov. 2020 For all of the state’s foibles, from Florida Man to hanging chads, Florida remains a microcosm of the country, a mirror reflecting the contradictions and divisions of the national electorate. Patricia Mazzei, New York Times, 16 Mar. 2020 This horsehair brush is an excellent tool to send scattered debris to the bin: pistachio shells, three-hole-punch chads, soil from the succulent garden. Boone Ashworth, Wired, 18 Feb. 2020 Mark Phelan, Detroit Free Press Auto Critic Vote totals aren't in yet but no one at the UAW or Ford is expecting hanging chads. Phoebe Wall Howard, Detroit Free Press, 15 Nov. 2019 Yes, that Broward County, ground zero of the infamous hanging chads controversy from the 2000 presidential election when George W. Bush defeated Al Gore. Chris Gardner, The Hollywood Reporter, 30 Nov. 2019 In the hanging-chad 2000 election, George W. Bush paid no discernible political price for his party’s irrational exuberance in impeaching Clinton. Walter Shapiro, The New Republic, 6 June 2019 There was the 2000 cliffhanger with its manual recounts, dimpled chads and butterfly ballots, and seven-hour waits in 2012 that shamed a Republican Legislature into expanding early voting days and locations. Steve Bousquet, miamiherald, 27 May 2018 The bill would drive a stake through the heart of paperless voting America's approach to elections has changed dramatically since 2000, when butterfly ballots and hanging chads threw a presidential election into chaos. Timothy B. Lee, Ars Technica, 2 Jan. 2018

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'chad.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


origin unknown

First Known Use

1944, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of chad was in 1944

Dictionary Entries Near chad

Cite this Entry

“Chad.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 19 Apr. 2024.

Geographical Definition


geographical name

variants or French Tchad
landlocked country in north central Africa; capital N'Djamena; a republic; until 1959 a territory of French Equatorial Africa area 495,755 square miles (1,284,000square kilometers), population 15,833,000
Chadian adjective or noun

More from Merriam-Webster on chad

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!