\ 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

Keep scrolling for more

Examples of chair in a Sentence

Noun 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 Verb He's been chosen to chair the task force on school violence.
See More
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun President Joe Biden nominated Gayle Manchin, an educator and the wife of West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin, as federal co-chair of the Appalachian Regional Commission. Emma Hinchliffe, Fortune, "How Stitch Fix CEO Katrina Lake learned to think big," 29 Mar. 2021 John Pons, co-chair of the capital campaign and president of the Maryland Horse Breeders Association, noted the importance of the center’s instructional component. Cameron Goodnight,, "Maryland Horse Foundation launches $1 million capital campaign to build Horse Library and Education Center in Baltimore County," 29 Mar. 2021 Founding sponsor Peoples Bank, formerly First National Bank of Suffield, will continue to act as honorary co-chair for all 2021 350th celebrations, including the parade., "Community News For The Windsor Locks Edition," 26 Mar. 2021 The San Francisco Berniecrats also oppose those calling for Collins’ resignation, said Brandee Marckmann, co-chair of the group. Jill Tucker, San Francisco Chronicle, "S.F. school board approves no-confidence vote for commissioner over racist 2016 tweets," 25 Mar. 2021 Alvarez, co-chair of UTSA’s Campaign Leadership Council, said that having the business college named for him is gratifying not only for him and his family but for Mexican, Mexican-American and Hispanic communities across the region. Brandon Lingle, San Antonio Express-News, "'The most joyous moment' - Beer magnate Carlos Alvarez donates $20 million to UTSA," 24 Mar. 2021 Šakalienė is a member of the Lithuanian Parliament for the Social Democrats and also a co-chair of the IPAC. Tripti Lahiri, Quartz, "Who are the 10 European citizens China is sanctioning?," 23 Mar. 2021 Breanna Hughes, co-chair of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists' COVID-19 task force, told the Washington Post. Maria Pasquini,, "Early Studies Show Vaccinated Moms Can Pass COVID Antibodies to Babies in Utero," 22 Mar. 2021 Other speakers included Sens. Rafael Warnock and Jon Ossoff, D-Ga., the Rev. William Barber, co-chair of the Poor People’s Campaign, and state Rep. Bee Nguyen, the first Vietnamese American elected to the Legislature. NBC News, "Atlanta Korean community is outraged, says issue isn't actually 'complex'," 22 Mar. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Prime Minister Brian Mulroney tapped Judge Jules Deschênes to chair a commission to investigate. Washington Post, "Canada is struggling to deport its last known Nazi suspect," 30 Mar. 2021 Conelly Manchin to co-chair the Appalachian Regional Commission, an economic development partnership with 13 states designed to boost investment in the Appalachian Region. Marisa Schultz, Fox News, "Biden nominates Sen. Joe Manchin's wife to federal commission," 26 Mar. 2021 The authors are trustees of the Committee for Economic Development of the Conference Board and co-chair its Infrastructure Committee. Nathan O. Rosenberg, Fortune, "America’s infrastructure has reached a breaking point. It’s time to fix it," 3 Mar. 2021 Bob Bauer, an Obama official who most recently served as a legal adviser to Biden, is set to co-chair the commission. Nicholas Rowan, Washington Examiner, "Biden court commission could push for term limits and lower court expansion," 22 Feb. 2021 Few were surprised that Shuler was tapped to co-chair the group, given her reputation for diplomatic savvy. oregonlive, "American labor movement looks to Oregon women for new leader, solidarity," 30 Jan. 2021 Biden also is naming two prominent female scientists to co-chair the President's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology. CBS News, "Watch Live: Biden introduces key members of his science team," 16 Jan. 2021 If elected, Crespo wants to chair the Civil Service and Labor committee with an eye toward creating a public option for employment. NBC News, "Elisa Crespo hopes to be part of a 'new generation of political leaders'," 18 Mar. 2021 Two other positions that have been confirmed: Cecilia Rouse, dean of the Princeton School of Public and International Affairs, will chair the Council of Economic Advisers. Aj Willingham, CNN, "5 things to know for March 3: Covid-19, stimulus, White House, Russia, Afghanistan," 3 Mar. 2021

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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about chair

Time Traveler for chair

Time Traveler

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

See more words from the same century

Statistics for chair

Last Updated

2 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Chair.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 11 Apr. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

Keep scrolling for more

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

Keep scrolling for more

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).


Test Your Vocabulary

The Exceptions Quiz III

  • one green toy robot amidst many red toy robots
  • Which of these words does not mean "nonsense"?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

 AlphaBear 2

Spell words. Make bears.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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