chapel

noun
chap·​el | \ ˈcha-pəl How to pronounce chapel (audio) \

Definition of chapel

1 : a subordinate or private place of worship: such as
a : a place of worship serving a residence or institution
b : a small house of worship usually associated with a main church
c : a room or recess in a church for meditation and prayer or small religious services
2 : a place of worship used by a Christian group other than an established church a nonconformist chapel
3 : a choir of singers belonging to a chapel
4 : a chapel service or assembly at a school or college
5 : an association of the employees in a printing office
b : a room for funeral services in a funeral home

Keep scrolling for more

Did You Know?

Chapel is ultimately derived from the Late Latin word cappa, meaning "cloak." How did we get from a garment to a building? The answer to this question has to do with a shrine created to hold the sacred cloak of St. Martin of Tours. In Medieval Latin, this shrine was called "cappella" (from a diminutive of cappa meaning "short cloak or cape") in reference to the relic it contained. Later, the meaning of "cappella" broadened to include any building that housed a sacred relic, and eventually to a place of worship. Old French picked up the term as "chapele," which in turn passed into English as "chapel" in the 13th century. In case you are wondering, the term a cappella, meaning "without instrumental accompaniment," entered English from Italian, where it literally means "in chapel style."

Examples of chapel in a Sentence

a wedding chapel in Las Vegas Church services will be held in the chapel this week.

Recent Examples on the Web

Remember when Joe Jonas and Sophie Turner got hitched in a 24 hour Las Vegas chapel? Eliza Huber, refinery29.com, "Sophie Turner's Vegas Wedding Shoes Are Officially Back In Stock," 7 June 2019 The Jesuits built classrooms, dormitories and a chapel. Paul Rogers, The Mercury News, "New redwood park opening 15 miles from downtown San Jose," 7 June 2019 The general layout of the new development includes two wings with a main lobby, offices, and chapel between. Erik S. Hanley, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Take a look inside the Sisters of St. Francis of Assisi's new convent," 4 June 2019 Earlier this month, Joe Jonas and Sophie Turner secretly tied the knot in a Las Vegas chapel after the Billboard Music Awards. Erica Gonzales, Harper's BAZAAR, "Joe Jonas Says Diplo "Ruined" His Wedding to Sophie Turner by Livestreaming the Ceremony (But They "Loved It")," 30 May 2019 Folly of the Year Ellsworth Kelly got a posthumous chapel in Austin of his own design that cost $23 million. Mark Lamster, Curbed, "2018 in architecture: The good, the bad, and the urbanism," 27 Dec. 2018 Tama, they are called, and in every chapel into which one wanders they are interspersed among candles lit to draw the saints’ attention to them. Adam Gopnik, Town & Country, "My First Visit to the Greek Islands Turned Out to Be a Journey Home," 20 May 2019 Mark Rothko died by suicide a year before the chapel opened in 1971, leaving his family and supporters to decide how best to foster his legacy in the face of the building’s subsidence, the city’s harsh sunlight, and humidity’s toll on his works. James Graff, WSJ, "The Push to Preserve a Rothko Masterpiece," 27 Feb. 2019 During his stream, the 23-year-old beautiful bride could be seen entering the chapel with her husband-to-be, along with his brothers Kevin and Nick. Lucy Wood, Marie Claire, "Sophie Turner and Joe Jonas Got Married With a Las Vegas Wedding After the Billboard Awards," 2 May 2019

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

13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for chapel

Middle English, from Anglo-French chapele, from Medieval Latin cappella, from diminutive of Late Latin cappa cloak; from the cloak of St. Martin of Tours preserved as a sacred relic in a chapel built for that purpose

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about chapel

Listen to Our Podcast about chapel

Statistics for chapel

Last Updated

10 Jun 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for chapel

The first known use of chapel was in the 13th century

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for chapel

chapel

noun

English Language Learners Definition of chapel

: a small church
: a room or small building that is used for private church services or prayer by a family or group
: a room or area in a church that is used for prayer or small religious services

chapel

noun
chap·​el | \ ˈcha-pəl How to pronounce chapel (audio) \

Kids Definition of chapel

1 : a building or a room or place for prayer or special religious services
2 : a religious service or assembly held in a school or college

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on chapel

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with chapel

Spanish Central: Translation of chapel

Nglish: Translation of chapel for Spanish Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about chapel

Comments on chapel

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

WORD OF THE DAY

behavior toward others

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Words for Summer: A Quiz

  • a closeup of a sunflower
  • Which of the following words means “of or relating to summer”?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

TAKE THE QUIZ
Add Diction

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

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

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