\ ˈcher How to pronounce chair (audio) \

Definition of chair

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1a : a seat typically having four legs and a back for one person
b : electric chair used with the
2a : an official seat or a seat of authority, state, or dignity
b : an office or position of authority or dignity
c : professorship holds a university chair
3 : a sedan chair
4 : a position of employment usually of one occupying a chair or desk specifically : the position of a player in an orchestra or band
5 : any of various devices that hold up or support


chaired; chairing; chairs

Definition of chair (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

1 : to install in office
2 chiefly British : to carry on the shoulders in acclaim we chaired you through the market place— A. E. Housman
3 : to preside as chairman of

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Examples of chair in a Sentence


a chair by the window We'll need a table and four chairs for the dining room. He is now chair of the English department. She's chair of the school board this year. Address any questions to the committee chair. a murderer who was sentenced to the chair


He's been chosen to chair the task force on school violence.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

There have been claims that the bank VTB was involved in the Trump Tower Moscow talks, and the chair of a different bank, VEB, met with Jared Kushner during the transition. Andrew Prokop, Vox, "The mysterious grand jury appeal that may be tied to the Mueller investigation, explained," 19 Dec. 2018 Emotional stress even has the potential to cause an aneurysm to rupture, says Gary Steinberg, M.D., Ph.D., chief of neurosurgery at Stanford Healthcare and chair of the department of neurosurgery at Stanford University. Macaela Mackenzie, Glamour, "Emilia Clarke's Aneurysms Almost Killed Her—Women Need to Know the Risks," 22 Mar. 2019 Upon each chair rested a Pendleton blanket for guests to keep (a thoughtful touch on a chilly winter's day), and floral arrangements in honeyed tones—created by Doan of A.P.—filled the room. Tara Lamont-djite, Harper's BAZAAR, "When Megan Met Henry: A Very British Wedding in Brooklyn," 11 Mar. 2019 Razer HyperSense builds on the success of the company’s impressive Nari Ultimate headset by integrating rumble controls into all of your peripherals—from keyboard to mouse to chair to headset. Brad Chacos, PCWorld, "6 important CES 2019 reveals and trends that PC enthusiasts need to know about," 11 Jan. 2019 Related stories from Miami Herald Don’t bash BSO deputies, Parkland safety chair says. Rob Wile, miamiherald, "After mass shootings, schools turn to Miami-made app to keep out the bad guys," 13 July 2018 The concertmaster chair was endowed by the late Anna Sinton Taft. Sarah Brookbank,, "Timothy Lees steps down as Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra concertmaster," 13 July 2018 Keep one of these on hand if want to tighten up those wobbly legs on your tables and chairs. Taylor Mead, House Beautiful, "Every Tool You Need In Your DIY Kit, Plus When To Actually Use It," 24 Jan. 2019 The no-frills production (a couple of fabric panels with facsimiles of the letters on them, a few chairs and table, off-the-rack costumes, and no lighting to speak of), minimally directed by Mikhaela Mahony, didn’t help. Heidi Waleson, WSJ, "‘Taking Up Serpents’ and ‘Dear Erich’ Reviews: Operas Haunted by the Past," 15 Jan. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

The gala honored contemporary architect Rem Koolhaas and was chaired by Miuccia Prada, Amy and Chris Astley, and Cecily Brown and Nicolai Ouroussoff. Zachary Schwartz, Vogue, "Emily Ratajkowski, Sienna Miller, and More Celebrate the Ultra-Cool Rem Koolhaas at the New Museum’s Spring Gala," 4 Apr. 2019 Timed with New York’s Winter Antiques Show, which Buatta had chaired for many years, 300 invited guests braved a wickedly cold night to laugh, cry, and reminisce about their favorite decorator and prankster. Steven Stolman, Town & Country, "Inside Mario Buatta's Final High Society Farewell," 23 Jan. 2019 State Attorney General Brian Frosh, who chaired the Judicial Proceedings Committee for years, has endorsed Brochin. Pamela Wood,, "Democrat Jim Brochin says his run for Baltimore County executive touts 'people's message'," 8 June 2018 The 165 guests were greeted by Sharon Danko, who has chaired the Share Breakfast for 20 years. Mary Jane Brewer,, "Medina County Share Cluster celebrates 30th anniversary," 30 Apr. 2018 The committee this year was chaired by Frank Donaldson, with much help from Charlotte Dill, Linda Feldmann and Tom Pardoe. Tracy Trobridge, Howard County Times, "Cornhole Classic a key event for Champions Against Cancer [Glenwood/Glenelg/Dayton]," 17 May 2018 Around the same time, Stockton’s youngest mayor struck up a conversation with some folks from the Economic Security Project, a network of activists, policymakers, academics and technologists that is co-chaired by Facebook co-founder Chris Hughes. Angela Helm, The Root, "This 27-Year-Old Mayor Is Giving Away Money to Realize MLK’s Last, Most Radical Dream," 4 Apr. 2018 Today, three siblings are physicians, one worked for the CIA, and another chaired a university department. Kayla Webley Adler, Marie Claire, "I Was One Of The Top Doctors In My Field. I Was Also An Opioid Addict.," 25 Feb. 2019 Another indicator of the significance of this launch is that Vice President Mike Pence, who chairs the National Space Council, is expected to attend. Eric Berger, Ars Technica, "Tuesday may deliver a triple-header of big launches to cap 2018," 17 Dec. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'chair.' 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 chair


13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a


1552, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for chair


Middle English chaiere, from Anglo-French, from Latin cathedra, from Greek kathedra, from kata- cata- + hedra seat — more at sit

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Statistics for chair

Last Updated

8 Apr 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for chair

The first known use of chair was in the 13th century

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More Definitions for chair



English Language Learners Definition of chair

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a seat for one person that has a back and usually four legs
: the person who is the leader of a department at a college or university
: the person who is the leader of a meeting, organization, committee, or event



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

: to be in charge of a meeting, organization, committee, or event : to be the chairperson of (something)


\ ˈcher How to pronounce chair (audio) \

Kids Definition of chair

1 : a seat for one person usually having a back and four legs
2 : a person who leads a meeting, group, or event

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More from Merriam-Webster on chair

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with chair

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for chair

Spanish Central: Translation of chair

Nglish: Translation of chair for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of chair for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about chair

Comments on chair

What made you want to look up chair? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


an act or instance of returning to life

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