\ 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

Imagine walking to Worf’s tactical station on the Bridge, pressing buttons on his control panel and firing torpedoes or sitting in Data’s chair at the helm console and taking the ship into warp! Cyrus Farivar, Ars Technica, "Amazing NCC-1701-D simulator issues final command: “all stop”," 28 Sep. 2018 Ramos was in the chair at Flushing Meadows last Saturday when Naomi Osaka won her first Grand Slam title by beating 23-time major champion Williams 6-2, 6-4. Howard Fendrich, The Seattle Times, "US Open final chair ump Ramos to work US-Croatia Davis Cup," 11 Sep. 2018 Cameras installed in the chair will record procedures for analysis, and could be someday equipped with facial recognition software to better detect stress or pain levels. Laura Yan, Popular Mechanics, "New Dental Tech Can Tell When You're Scared," 28 July 2018 Smaller items that are 50 pounds or less, or that one person could pick up and put on a truck, such as chairs or desks, can be put out at three to five items per pickup. David Anderson, The Aegis, "Aberdeen council adopts new trash pickup ordinance," 12 July 2018 The three are co-chairs of the science communication committee for a student group called Duke INSPIRE. Marissa Fessenden, Smithsonian, "Scientific Images Make Dazzling Art In a Duke University Exhibit," 12 July 2018 Each chair had a brown paper bag with a sandwich, chips, an orange soda, and bottle of water. Colleen Long, The Christian Science Monitor, "Families reunited, then deported to Guatemala," 12 July 2018 Paul Collins is the author of nine nonfiction books and chair of the English department at Portland State University. Paul Collins,, "What lies in the lab: The gruesome murder at Harvard that transfixed New England," 11 July 2018 Kenya Burrell-VanWormer, with JPMorgan Chase, is 2018 chair of the Houston Association of Realtors/ Houston Chronicle, "Counteroffers and contracts: Follow tips to get through process," 8 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Intricacies stemming from the sanctions are particularly disruptive for the banking industry, said Daniel Gutierrez, who chairs the anti-money-laundering compliance committee at the Florida International Bankers Association. Mengqi Sun, WSJ, "Evolving Venezuela Sanctions Pose Problems for Banks," 25 Feb. 2019 Ross is an active member of the Broward League, currently serving on its ethics task force and chairing both the local issues committee as well as the nominating committee. Emily Bloch,, "Cooper City Mayor awarded by League of Cities," 11 July 2018 Nevertheless, Lamar Smith, a Republican congressman who chairs the science committee, has subpoenaed the EPA for the underlying Six Cities data. The Economist, "Scott Pruitt embarks on a campaign to stifle science at the EPA," 26 Apr. 2018 Neither received a hearing in the Judiciary Committee because Farnsworth, who chairs the committee, wouldn't allow it. Dustin Gardiner, azcentral, "On Equal Pay Day, Arizona Republicans block vote on Equal Rights Amendment," 10 Apr. 2018 The school system also has a responsibility to provide Birmingham with students with the option to choose between college and career, Herring, who co-chaired the education and workforce development committee, said. Erin Edgemon,, "Woodfin addresses recommended changes to public safety, education, social justice at 100-day event," 15 Mar. 2018 The Republican spent the last term chairing the committee in charge of streetcar oversight. Jason Williams,, "PX column: Time for Cincinnati City Council's streetcar supporters to step up and 'fix it'," 1 Mar. 2018 Rogoff messaged transit-board members last Tuesday that bids would be postponed, and by Friday, King County Councilmember Claudia Balducci, who chairs the board’s System Expansion Committee, emailed that news to people who commented. Mike Lindblom, The Seattle Times, "Sound Transit puts bus outsourcing on hold," 25 Mar. 2019 Mangin, a former executive vice president with Marquette Bank, chaired the Village Board’s finance committee, and Curran will take over chairmanship of that committee. Mike Nolan, Daily Southtown, "Former parks director named Tinley Park trustee," 21 June 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

20 May 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).


one that collects or salvages junk

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