chan·​cel·​lor | \ ˈchan(t)-s(ə-)lər How to pronounce chancellor (audio) \

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

Other Words from chancellor

chancellorship \ ˈchan(t)-​s(ə-​)lər-​ˌship How to pronounce chancellor (audio) \ noun

Examples of chancellor in a Sentence

the new chancellor of the university
Recent Examples on the Web His successor, Helmut Schmidt, chancellor for the rest of the 1970s and the early 1980s, oversaw an expansion of the pipelines, including another big project known as the West Siberia Pipeline. New York Times, 23 Apr. 2022 Eric Klein has been named associate vice chancellor for Educational Support Services, and Nashona Andrade has been named as the new Human Resources director. Laura Groch, San Diego Union-Tribune, 31 Mar. 2022 Lobbyist Clay Ryan, the senior vice chancellor for external affairs at the University of Alabama System, hinted at changes to the compromise bill last week. al, 8 Mar. 2022 State officials began working in November 2019 on demolition plans, said Melissa Spadanuda, UWM associate vice chancellor for facilities, planning and management. Tom Daykin, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 7 Mar. 2022 Markham previously served as vice chancellor for academic services at the University of Arkansas System's Cossatot Community College. Dave Perozek, Arkansas Online, 2 Mar. 2022 Aisha El-Amin, who is the associate vice chancellor for equity and belonging at the University of Illinois at Chicago, will moderate several different panelists including the late boxer’s daughter, Maryum Ali. Tatyana Turner,, 15 Jan. 2022 Retention numbers also declined, said Sylvia Alva, executive vice chancellor for academic and student affairs. Raheem Hosseini, San Francisco Chronicle, 6 Dec. 2021 Liberty had recently announced that the job held by Falwell would be divided between two new positions: a president tasked with bureaucratic management and a chancellor to serve as Liberty’s spiritual leader. Megan K. Stack, The New Yorker, 28 Apr. 2022 See More

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.

First Known Use of chancellor

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1b

History and Etymology for chancellor

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

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The first known use of chancellor was before the 12th century

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Last Updated

20 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Chancellor.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 27 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for chancellor


chan·​cel·​lor | \ ˈchan-sə-lər How to pronounce chancellor (audio) , 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 How to pronounce chancellor (audio) \

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

More from Merriam-Webster on chancellor

Nglish: Translation of chancellor for Spanish Speakers

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


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