chan·​cel·​lor | \ ˈchan(t)-s(ə-)lər \

Definition of chancellor

1a : the secretary of a nobleman, prince, or king
b : the lord chancellor of Great Britain
c British : the chief secretary of an embassy
d : a Roman Catholic priest heading the office in which diocesan business is transacted and recorded
2a : the titular head of a British university
b(1) : a university president
(2) : the chief executive officer in some state systems of higher education
3a : a lay legal officer or adviser of an Anglican diocese
b : a judge in a court of chancery or equity in various states of the U.S.
4 : the chief minister of state in some European countries

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Other Words from chancellor

chancellorship \ ˈchan(t)-​s(ə-​)lər-​ˌship \ noun

Examples of chancellor in a Sentence

the new chancellor of the university

Recent Examples on the Web

Viktor Orban, the semi-authoritarian prime minister of Hungary, has been a regular guest of honor of Bavaria’s conservatives, as has Sebastian Kurz, the chancellor of Austria who governs in a coalition with the far right. Katrin Bennhold, New York Times, "Bavaria: Affluent, Picturesque — and Angry," 30 June 2018 Oprah Winfrey came in second, followed by Clinton, Melania Trump, Queen Elizabeth II, German chancellor Angela Merkel, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, and Ellen DeGeneres. Abby Gardner, Glamour, "Michelle Obama Is America's 'Most Admired Woman' of 2018," 28 Dec. 2018 Photo by Bryce Richter / University of Wisconsin At the University of Wisconsin-Madison in late August, chancellor Rebecca Blank and Foxconn chairman Terry Gou announced the largest industry research partnership in the school’s history. Josh Dzieza, The Verge, "Foxconn’s $100M deal with the University of Wisconsin has students worried," 5 Nov. 2018 But by 2016, that had changed, with more engagement from opponents of German chancellor Angela Merkel, including Green party supporters. Sean Gallagher, Ars Technica, "How Russia’s “influence operations” targeted the midterms (and how they still do)," 22 Oct. 2018 McMorris Rodgers and the only Democrat in the race, Lisa Brown, formerly the state’s Senate majority leader and chancellor of Washington State University Spokane, are expected to make it to the general election. Tara Golshan, Vox, "House Republicans’ top-ranking woman is facing the toughest reelection of her career," 7 Aug. 2018 Angela Merkel’s position as German chancellor became more precarious on Sunday after her interior minister, Horst Seehofer, rejected a European deal on limiting immigration as insufficient, threatening her government. Kristen Bellstrom, Fortune, "Broadsheet template," 1 July 2018 This particular paper brought down petty crooks and prideful barons and, most recently, a chancellor. Chris Erskine,, "As we pack up, a bittersweet ode to a workplace that was my second home," 29 June 2018 German chancellor Angela Merkel has held an open-door refugee policy for migrants seeking asylum. Christianna Silva, Teen Vogue, "President Trump Got German Crime Stats Wrong in Tweets About Immigration," 18 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'chancellor.' 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 chancellor

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for chancellor

Middle English chanceler, from Anglo-French, from Late Latin cancellarius doorkeeper, secretary, from cancellus

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14 Jan 2019

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The first known use of chancellor was in the 14th century

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English Language Learners Definition of chancellor

: the highest government official in Germany and Austria

: the head of some U.S. universities

: the head of a British university who represents the school but who does not have many responsibilities


chan·​cel·​lor | \ ˈchan-sə-lər, ˈchan-slər\

Kids Definition of chancellor

1 : a high government official (as in Germany)
2 : the head of a university


chan·​cel·​lor | \ ˈchan-sə-lər \

Legal Definition of chancellor

1 : the head of a chancery: as
a : the Lord Chancellor of Great Britain
b : a judge in a court of equity in various states
2a : a university president
b : the chief executive officer in some state systems of higher education
3 : the chief minister of state in some European countries (as Germany)

History and Etymology for chancellor

Old French chancelier royal secretary, from Late Latin cancellarius doorkeeper, clerk, from Latin cancellus latticework barrier

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More from Merriam-Webster on chancellor

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with chancellor

Spanish Central: Translation of chancellor

Nglish: Translation of chancellor for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of chancellor for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about chancellor

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