\ 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

In announcing the decision by the committee, Dr. Preben Aavitsland, the acting chair of the emergency committee, said the outbreak is a health emergency in the DRC and the region. Susan Scutti, CNN, "Ebola outbreak in Congo still not a public health emergency of international concern," 14 June 2019 The chair of the Hawaii Board of Agriculture told Hawaii News Now that exotic creatures are a threat to the state’s unique environment and that the snake, which measured about 1-foot-long, was being taken to Oahu for safe handling. Doug Phillips,, "Snake on a plane! It happened on a flight from Fort Lauderdale to Hawaii," 13 June 2019 Frankie Elliott, vice president of government affairs and foundation relations at the Orlando Regional Realtor Association, was appointed chair of the Accessibility & Opportunity Subcommittee for Orange County’s Housing For All Task Force. Joe Rassel,, "People on the move," 13 June 2019 After she was named Tuesday to the position, both Tim Byrne, chair of the Milwaukee Public Museum Board of Directors, and Milwaukee County Executive Chris Abele used the same word to describe Censky. Bill Glauber, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Cedarburg native Ellen Censky aims to keep Milwaukee Public Museum on the cutting edge," 12 June 2019 Kathleen Kennedy has been elected chair of the AFI Board of Trustees. Abid Rahman, The Hollywood Reporter, "Kathleen Kennedy Elected Chair of AFI Board of Trustees," 7 June 2019 More: Pelosi: 'Nothing is off the table' with Trump Pelosi had been holding a regular check-in meeting with the chairs of five congressional committees that are currently conducting investigations into the president. Nicholas Wu, USA TODAY, "Reports: Nancy Pelosi wants Trump 'in prison' but not impeached," 6 June 2019 David Marshall, chair of AIA San Diego’s preservation committee, told the Union-Tribune. Alissa Walker, Curbed, "Will this PoMo wonderland in San Diego be saved?," 5 June 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Beverly Raphael Altman and Robyn Raphael-Dynan, who lead RCC Associates, co-chaired this year’s initiative. Krislyn Placide,, "Three generations flex their muscles for Habitat for Humanity for 2019 Women Build," 13 June 2019 It was widely assumed to be punishment for chairing a talk by pro-independence activist Andy Chan. Time, "Hong Kong Was My Refuge, Now Its Freedom Is at Stake," 13 June 2019 Lynn Florian, 8th, questioned why a new committee — code revisions, appeals and negotiations — is being chaired by the mayor instead of an alderman. Emily K. Coleman, Lake County News-Sun, "Waukegan mayor takes over committee that oversees development of ordinances," 9 June 2019 Herold convinced a diabetes clinical trials network called TrialNet, which Skyler then chaired, to support a prevention study of anti-CD3. Jennifer Couzin-frankel, Science | AAAS, "In milestone trial, experimental drug delays type 1 diabetes," 9 June 2019 Herbert Sandler, a billionaire philanthropist who co-chaired Oakland’s Golden West Financial Corp, died Wednesday at his home in San Francisco. Ashley Mcbride,, "Herb Sandler, billionaire philanthropist, dies at 87," 6 June 2019 Marianna Polles, who chaired the Greek Festival for 16 years, ran a similar festival at her church in Jackson, Miss. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Opa! St. Spyridon celebrates 50 years of Greek culture, customs and hospitality," 6 June 2019 The resolution would also reaffirm the ability of House committee chairs to go directly to a bipartisan panel that controls the House lawyers to seek enforcement of their subpoenas in court. Rebecca Kaplan, CBS News, "House to vote on holding Barr and McGahn in contempt," 6 June 2019 Blackburn has been in the House since 2003, and chairs a key subcommittee that oversees telecommunications. Jon Brodkin, Ars Technica, "Lawmaker who wants paid fast lanes on Internet wins US Senate seat," 7 Nov. 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

17 Jun 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).


having a desire to acquire more things

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