\ 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

William Gould, a professor emeritus at Stanford Law School and a former chair of the National Labor Relations Board, says Uber is unmistakably acting as an employer under the rules of the new California test. Wired, "Why Uber Thinks It Can Still Call Its Drivers Contractors," 12 Sep. 2019 The pundit class collapsed back in its chair last week, exhausted and spent, from a furious wonk-off session over Bernie Sanders’ rhetoric on medical bankruptcies. Libby Watson, The New Republic, "How Greedy Hospitals Fleece the Poor," 11 Sep. 2019 Last year, Serena Williams lost the US Open women’s final to Naomi Osaka; Williams was penalized a game for calling the chair umpire a thief during an extended argument after the umpire issued a warning to Williams for receiving coaching., "This day in history," 8 Sep. 2019 The final was hard-fought, but was blessedly free of incidents like the dispute between Williams and chair umpire Carlos Ramos that marred her 2018 final loss to Naomi Osaka. Samuel Chamberlain, Fox News, "Bianca Andreescu defeats Serena Williams in US Open final for first major title," 8 Sep. 2019 One year ago: Serena Williams lost the U.S. Open women's final to Naomi Osaka; Williams was penalized a game for calling the chair umpire a thief during an extended argument after the umpire issued a warning to Williams for receiving coaching., "Today in history: September 8," 8 Sep. 2019 Medvedev had drawn their ire for a series of antics on the court, first snatching the towel from a ballperson, then tossing his racket in the direction of the chair umpire, and finally flashing his middle finger next to his forehead. Brian Mahoney, The Denver Post, "Daniil Medvedev earns U.S. Open cheers during and after loss to Rafael Nadal," 8 Sep. 2019 That match became front-page news, not just because a chair umpire took the drastic step of issuing a game penalty during one of the most important matches of the year—and between two women of color. Kevin Craft, The Atlantic, "The Thrilling Unpredictability of Women’s Tennis," 3 Sep. 2019 Fifteen regional groups play music of The Beatles from 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Sept. 2. Bring your own lawn chair to the Spring Green General Store, enjoy a little hard cider and sing along with the musicians. Elaine Rewolinski, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Artrageous Weekend, BeatleFest, Streetcar Day and more to do around Wisconsin this week," 1 Sep. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Brenna also chairs the advisory council of the Seafood Nutrition Partnership which on Sept. 17 will hold its third annual State of the Science Symposium in Washington, D.C. Anchorage Daily News, "Seafood will get more attention in development of new U.S. dietary guidelines," 10 Sep. 2019 But Illinois Supreme Court Justice Anne Burke, who chaired the board in the mid-2000s, said in an interview that Lori and the other bishops paid only lip service to the concept. Michelle Boorstein, Washington Post, "W.Va. scandal muddies legacy of Vatican’s longtime fixer from Baltimore," 2 Sep. 2019 By the time Roosevelt was elected governor of New York, in 1928, Perkins was chairing a board that oversaw industrial safety in the state. Caleb Crain, The New Yorker, "State of the Unions," 19 Aug. 2019 There are portraits of Coco, chairs upholstered in her signature tweed and a 60-foot sculpture of a pearl necklace. Sophie Alexander, Fortune, "Chanel’s Owners: As Discreet As the Fabled Couturier’s Little Black Dress," 14 Aug. 2019 Koen also served as vice-chair of the Board of Trustees for the Denver Foundation, an $820 million community foundation and, chaired its work around racial equity. Mark Curnutte,, "New president: Local Urban League hires Denver United Way executive," 13 Aug. 2019 Representatives for BlackRock, Cofense, Fridman and the U.S. Treasury, which chairs CFIUS, did not immediately respond to requests for comment. Reuters, The Mercury News, "BlackRock in talks to take over Cofense after U.S. security concerns — sources," 28 July 2019 Peter Dawson, the former R&A chief who now chairs the OWGR board, said Mickelson has been among the top 50 for 1,338 consecutive weeks. Doug Ferguson,, "Phil Mickelson awarded for 25 straight years in top 50," 16 July 2019 Owens serves on the boards of TechPoint Indiana, Indy Chamber, the Orr Fellowship and previously chaired the Indiana Charter School Board, according to a news release. Chris Sikich, Indianapolis Star, "Businessman Josh Owens files to seek Democratic nomination for governor," 16 Sep. 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.

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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

7 Oct 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

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