Definition of chapel
1 : a subordinate or private place of worship: such asa : a place of worship serving a residence or institutionb : a small house of worship usually associated with a main churchc : 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
6a : funeral homeb : a room for funeral services in a funeral home
chapel was our Word of the Day on 01/06/2010. Hear the podcast!
Examples of chapel in a sentence
a wedding chapel in Las Vegas
Church services will be held in the chapel this week.
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."
Origin and Etymology of 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
First Known Use: 13th century
CHAPEL Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of chapel for English Language Learners
: 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 Defined for Kids
Definition of chapel for Students
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
Seen and Heard
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