\ 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

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.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Feinstein also thanked the committee’s chair, Sen. Lindsey O. Graham (R-S.C.), and then walked across the room to wrap him in a hug. Teo Armus, Washington Post, "Feinstein hugs and praises Lindsey Graham, sparking an outcry from liberals: ‘Time to retire’," 16 Oct. 2020 Roy and Davis each hope to use that to their advantage in a race that will be more about turnout than voter persuasion, said David Crockett, professor and chair of political science at Trinity University in San Antonio. Taylor Goldenstein,, "Chip Roy v. Wendy Davis: Sharp contrast on COVID-19 animates San Antonio-area race," 16 Oct. 2020 By Week 2 Hugh Downs was in the host’s chair, and the program began to find its footing. Neil Genzlinger, New York Times, "Bob Shanks, Influential TV Executive, Dies at 88," 15 Oct. 2020 Leading the list of signatures were the names of attorney Laurence J. Eisenstein, a former BMA trustee and chair of the museum’s contemporary acquisitions committee, and Constance Caplan, former BMA board chairwoman. Mary Carole Mccauley,, "Group asks Maryland AG to block sale of three works by BMA, including Andy Warhol’s ‘The Last Supper’," 15 Oct. 2020 David Lublin, professor and chair of American University’s Department of Government, said earmarking was arguably more important to Alaska — home of the largest congressional district in the country —than other places. Aubrey Wieber, Anchorage Daily News, "After 47 years in Congress, Alyse Galvin says Don Young has lost his clout. Is that true?," 10 Oct. 2020 Kelly Erickson, a farmer and chair of the CSRC steering committee, says losing Peterson as agriculture chairman would be a blow. Kim Chipman,, "Republicans Aim to Flip Minnesota Blue-Dog Democrat’s House Seat," 9 Oct. 2020 Matt Schlapp, lobbyist and chair of the American Conservative Union 86. USA Today, "Here's everyone at the White House Rose Garden SCOTUS event now called a likely 'superspreader.' Help us ID them all.," 7 Oct. 2020 Doug McMillon is president and chief executive of Walmart and chair of the Business Roundtable. Doug Mcmillon, Fortune, "Walmart CEO: To tackle today’s challenges, ‘listen with open ears and an open heart’," 6 Oct. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Case Western Reserve University professor Mark Chupp will chair the forum. Thomas Jewell, cleveland, "Cleveland Heights voters asked to unify technical aspects of city charter, strong mayor with Issue 6," 6 Oct. 2020 In the days after the collapse, state Rep. Matt Gray and state Sen. Faith Winter, who chair the legislature’s transportation committees, issued a joint statement demanding accountability for the roadway’s failure. Jon Murray, The Denver Post, "A year after U.S. 36 highway collapse, Colorado still seeks compensation," 17 July 2020 If there isn’t any such representation, L&G will vote against appointments to chair the board and nomination committee. Benjamin Robertson,, "Top U.K. Money Manager to Reject Boards That Lack Diversity," 5 Oct. 2020 McMahon, who left the SBA in April 2019 to chair the group, has been a reliable donor to GOP candidates and causes. Russell Blair,, "Connecticut Politics Week in Review: Lamont announces Phase 3 of business reopenings. ‘We’ve earned the right.'," 25 Sep. 2020 The civilian panel's findings and recommendations will be submitted to Undersecretary of the Army James McPherson and Gen. Joseph M. Martin, the Army's Vice Chief of Staff, who will co-chair a team to implement changes, according to the Army. Ray Sanchez, CNN, "Army names independent panel to review Fort Hood following Vanessa Guillen's killing," 30 July 2020 House Majority Leader Greg Harris, D-Chicago, tapped state Rep. Chris Welch, D-Hillside, to chair the hearings. Greg Bishop, Washington Examiner, "Madigan could testify before House investigative committee Republicans requested," 3 Sep. 2020 Rendle will replace Clorox's CEO of nearly six years, Benno Dorer, who will continue to chair the company's board. Phil Wahba, Fortune, "Next Clorox boss will bring the number of Fortune 500 women CEOs to 38, highest yet," 3 Aug. 2020 And in fashion, she's secured the CFDA's Fashion Icon Award and gone on to co-chair the Met Gala. Erica Gonzales, Harper's BAZAAR, "What Is the VMA Tricon Award For?," 31 Aug. 2020

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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Time Traveler for chair

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for chair

Last Updated

22 Oct 2020

Cite this Entry

“Chair.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 30 Oct. 2020.

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More Definitions for chair


How to pronounce chair (audio)

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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