\ 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


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.
See More

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Several people—from both the far right and the left—have been arrested and sentenced for making anti-Semitic threats against Ms. Berger, a former parliamentary chair of the Jewish Labour Movement. Yaroslav Trofimov, WSJ, "The New Anti-Semitism," 12 July 2019 Grant Delgatty — associate professor and chair of Product Innovation at USC’s Iovine and Young Academy and inventor of the URB-E scooter — came on board to create a satellite float that will run alongside the main entry on parade day. Sara Cardine,, "LCF Tournament of Roses Assn. gets fresh wind under its wings with new design team," 12 July 2019 The find wasn’t just accidental, according to Maria Katasonova, vice chair of the foundation supporting the dig. Jason Daley, Smithsonian, "Remains of Napoleonic General Believed to Have Been Found in Russian Park," 12 July 2019 Nani Gopal Mahanta, chair of political science at Assam’s Gauhati University and a BJP supporter, has some suggestions for those who still fall foul. The Economist, "India is declaring millions of its citizens to be foreigners," 11 July 2019 But elsewhere, another top financial regulator, Jerome Powell, chair of the Federal Reserve, is growing worried about Facebook’s digital currency project, Libra. Adam Lashinsky, Fortune, "Digging Into Trump’s Secretive Guest List for His ‘Social Media Summit’—Data Sheet," 11 July 2019 Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot just appointed Hobson vice chair of World Business Chicago, a job that puts her effectively in charge of the city’s public-private business recruitment arm. Lisa Donovan,, "The Spin: Duckworth co-writes stinging letter about military’s handling of sex assault allegations against Trump nominee," 11 July 2019 Scripps Research scientists will get about half the money over the grant’s seven-year life, said Dennis Burton, co-chair of the Department of Immunology and Microbiology at Scripps Research, and CHAVD’s director. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Scripps Research-led group gets $129 million grant for HIV vaccine," 10 July 2019 Serious issues involving older adults are growing in importance along the Peninsula, according to Scott McMullin, chair of the San Mateo County Commission on Aging. John Horgan, The Mercury News, "Horgan: For solitary older adults, it takes a village," 10 July 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Michael Steele used to teach middle school math and science and now chairs the Department of Teaching at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. Max Cohen, USA TODAY, "‘I do not have 2-3 months off’: Teachers on summer break are working, a lot," 11 July 2019 Culberson, who was ousted by freshman Rep. Lizzie Pannill Fletcher in Houston, received $25,000 and had chaired the House Appropriations Subcommittee Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies, which oversees funding for private prisons. Dallas News, "Texans Cornyn, Cuellar among top recipients of campaign donations from private detention company PAC," 10 July 2019 Gonzales was tapped to head the Transportation Committee and Councilman Manny Peláez will chair Intergovernmental Relations. Dylan Mcguinness,, "Mayor Nirenberg names committees for new San Antonio City Council," 3 July 2019 About 10 campers, at least twice as many canopy tents and dozens of camp chairs sat in the parking lot parallel to Pine Street. Beth Bragg, Anchorage Daily News, "Fueled by coffee and Red Bulls, Anchorage softball players celebrate solstice with a tournament," 25 June 2019 The outrage spurred efforts to establish oversight, including one by the World Health Organization, which Hamburg is chairing. STAT, "Alarmed by new ‘CRISPR babies’ plan, top science figures say they’re powerless to stop it," 24 June 2019 Former Congressman David Dreier, the chair of the Capital Gazette's parent company, Tribune Publishing, is chairing a foundation that wants to build the memorial. Brian Stelter, CNN, "Foundation seeks to build memorial for journalists who died doing their jobs," 23 June 2019 Win Eaton, an immigration attorney who also practices in Bakersfield and has represented numerous people in ICE custody, identifies as a Conservative and once chaired the county’s Republican party. Justin Rohrlich, Quartz, "ICE detainees are no longer getting condiments on their sandwiches," 20 June 2019 Japan, chairing the G-20, wants to make marine plastic litter one of the key themes when leaders from the group meet for a summit in Osaka at the end of this month., "World powers urge ‘voluntary action’ on marine plastic crisis, fail to agree on approach," 16 June 2019

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

Statistics for chair

Last Updated

15 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for chair

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

See more words from the same century

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

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).


appealing forcibly to the mind or reason

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

What's that Smell?! Quiz

  • wide eyed dog smelling rose
  • Someone who is hircine smells like a:
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

Word Winder's CrossWinder

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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