chan·​cery | \ ˈchan(t)-sə-rē How to pronounce chancery (audio) , ˈchan(t)s-rē \
plural chanceries

Definition of chancery

1 : a record office for public archives or those of ecclesiastical, legal, or diplomatic proceedings
2a capitalized : a high court of equity in England and Wales with common-law functions and jurisdiction over causes in equity
b : a court of equity in the American judicial system
c : the principles and practice of judicial equity
3a : a chancellor's court or office or the building in which it is located
b : the office in which the business of a Roman Catholic diocese is transacted and recorded
c : the office of an embassy : chancellery sense 3
in chancery
1 : in litigation in a court of chancery also : under the superintendence of the lord chancellor a ward in chancery
2 : in a hopeless predicament

Examples of chancery in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Here too, the chancery court noted, the services of photography and videography are missing. Roxanne Bland, Forbes, 3 Jan. 2022 Forman soon received a restraining order, and then burned it on the steps of the chancery of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese on Madison Avenue. Anna Deavere Smith, The New York Review of Books, 5 Nov. 2020 The trial is expected to last about two weeks, after which the Delaware chancery court judge, Joseph Slights III, will issue a verdict. Paul Wiseman, Star Tribune, 13 July 2021 The trial is taking place in Delaware chancery court, a staid environment that doesn’t allow live-streaming or tweeting from the courtroom. Washington Post, 12 July 2021 Last year, a Delaware chancery court judge ruled in Mr. Schwartz’s favor. Rebecca Davis O’brien, WSJ, 3 June 2021 But donations at parishes plunged 20% for the last nine months of 2020 from the same period the year before, Potts said, and the archdiocese has cut the salaries of chancery staffers by a like amount. Matthias Gafni, San Francisco Chronicle, 12 Feb. 2021 Twenty days after the deed in lieu agreement, on Aug. 9, 2018, a Mississippi chancery court appointed McMahan temporary conservator of Hancock’s affairs. Patrick Danner, San Antonio Express-News, 9 Apr. 2021 The archdiocese appears healthy overall, with the central chancery reporting almost $288 million in assets last fiscal year versus about $111 million in liabilities. Matthias Gafni, San Francisco Chronicle, 12 Feb. 2021 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'chancery.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of chancery

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 2a

History and Etymology for chancery

Middle English chancerie, alteration of chancelerie chancellery, from Anglo-French, from chanceler

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

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Cite this Entry

“Chancery.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 26 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for chancery


chan·​cery | \ ˈchan-sə-rē How to pronounce chancery (audio) \

Legal Definition of chancery

1 capitalized : the court having equity jurisdiction in England and Wales and presided over by the Lord Chancellor of Great Britain

Note: Formerly a separate court, the Chancery is now a division of the Supreme Court of Judicature in England.

2a : court of equity cases decided in chancery
b : the principles and practice of judicial equity court of chancery — see also equity — compare law

Note: There are chancery courts in Arkansas, Delaware, Mississippi, New Jersey, and Tennessee.

History and Etymology for chancery

Middle English chauncery, alteration of chancellerie chancellor's office

More from Merriam-Webster on chancery Encyclopedia article about chancery


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