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

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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

The chancellor said the deal would balance national and international approaches to the issue of how to control migration. Jefferson Chase, USA TODAY, "German government crisis: Chancellor Angela Merkel gets migrant compromise," 3 July 2018 But Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has a direct line of communication with the Austrian chancellor. Yossi Lempkowicz, Jewish Journal, "Austrian leader visits Yad Vashem, Western Wall as part of Israel visit," 13 June 2018 In 1933, Hitler became the chancellor of Germany, and pro-Hitler groups popped up across the United States. Eric Ginsburg, Teen Vogue, "American Nazis and Nazi Sympathizers Have Been Around Since the 1930’s," 26 Nov. 2018 The quarrel with Becket, formerly Henry’s chancellor and close associate, broke out when Henry tried to make men in clerical orders answerable to his courts. Allan Massie, WSJ, "‘The Restless Kings’ Review: A Family at War With Itself," 11 Jan. 2019 Anthony Potter Collection/Getty Images On July 26, 1933, six months after Adolf Hitler became chancellor of Germany, Nazis in Los Angeles held their first open meeting. Time Staff, Time, "The 25 Moments From American History That Matter Right Now," 28 June 2018 On Tuesday, Bendapudi, vice chancellor and provost at Kansas, was named the University of Louisville’s 18th president. Andrew Wolfson, The Courier-Journal, "Louisville's new president, Neeli Bendapudi, a prolific fundraiser who sets big goals," 3 Apr. 2018 Germany could do worse than a new chancellor who is able to combine Mrs Merkel’s unflappable maturity with a greater willingness to think ahead to the 2030s. The Economist, "An interview with Germany’s finance minister, Olaf Scholz," 12 July 2018 University of Texas System regents will privately discuss their search for a new chancellor -- and possibly take action -- at a special called board meeting on Wednesday. Lindsay Ellis, Houston Chronicle, "As chancellor search continues, UT System regents to meet," 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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Last Updated

13 Mar 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 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

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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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to reflect, repel, echo, or resound

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