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

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from chancellor

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

Examples of chancellor in a Sentence

the new chancellor of the university

Recent Examples on the Web

As the partnership takes shape, graduate researchers plan to push for a greater role in the process, possibly developing a governance committee to advise the chancellor. Josh Dzieza, The Verge, "Foxconn’s $100M deal with the University of Wisconsin has students worried," 5 Nov. 2018 Its outspoken chancellor, Sebastian Kurz, is sceptical of relocation schemes and may propose alternatives. The Economist, "The EU argues till dawn on migration, and achieves little," 29 June 2018 Woodward handled government relations for the chancellor (future NCAA president Mark Emmert). Andy Staples,, "The Message Behind the Money: How Texas A&M Landed Jimbo Fisher," 28 June 2018 But the chancellor, Smith says, thought he should be expelled. Vinson Cunningham, The New Yorker, "Stephen A. Smith Won’t Stop Talking," 16 June 2018 Some UMass Boston professors and students on Monday questioned whether Barry Mills, their interim chancellor, advocated for the Boston campus while Amherst was negotiating with Mount Ida College. Laura Krantz,, "UMass Boston feels snubbed after Mount Ida deal," 10 Apr. 2018 Photo: Tyler Darden for The Wall Street Journal For these presidents and chancellors, the campus homes are also more than residences. Kris Frieswick, WSJ, "The Multimillion-Dollar Homes on Campus Where Rent is Free," 4 Oct. 2018 The first woman and the first easterner to run a reunified Germany, the chancellor is more than a beleaguered European leader who has stuck around for a little too long. Katrin Bennhold,, "Merkel’s coalition survives, for now," 2 July 2018 The chancellor is under siege from a coalition partner that wants to turn away asylum-seekers at Germany’s borders. The Economist, "An emergency EU summit makes little progress on migration," 24 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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about chancellor

Statistics for chancellor

Last Updated

8 May 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for chancellor

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

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for chancellor



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 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

Keep scrolling for more

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

Comments on chancellor

What made you want to look up chancellor? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


using a distributed computer network

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Time Traveler Quiz: Which Word Came First?

  • time traveler quiz which word came first
  • Which came first?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

Syn City

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!