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

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. Anglo-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 Once upon a time in a land far, far away (Las Vegas) at 2am, after an epic night and a little tequila, a queen and her handsome king ventured out to the only open chapel with an Elvis and got married (with no license). Pamela Avila, USA TODAY, 16 May 2022 Here are Mike and Zara with their daughter Mia on the walk down to the chapel. Caroline Hallemann, Town & Country, 17 Apr. 2022 After attending the 2022 Grammy Awards together, Kardashian, 42, and Barker, 46, headed to the wedding chapel around 1:45 a.m. on Monday, PEOPLE confirmed. Joelle Goldstein,, 5 Apr. 2022 Elizabeth Ball and David Molotsky chose the Relais & Châteaux hotel Il Borro for their Tuscan nuptials, where the bride’s father drove her to the chapel in a vintage Fiat. Christian Allaire, Vogue, 28 Mar. 2022 Suddenly, one of their cells was on fire, and guards ushered Mr. Little and others to a chapel. New York Times, 31 Dec. 2021 Pamela Stewart had been working as a psychotherapist at H.M.P. Holloway, a prison in London, for twenty years, in the fall of 2015, when she was suddenly called to the chapel for a mass announcement. Anna Russell, The New Yorker, 28 Sep. 2021 Chicago police Officer Ella French straight from work, still in teal scrubs and determined to make it to the chapel. Madeline Buckley,, 19 Aug. 2021 Following the 2019 the Billboard Music Awards, which the Jonas Brothers performed at, the couple headed down to the chapel. Madison Douglas, Seventeen, 18 Aug. 2021 See More

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.

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

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

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Dictionary Entries Near chapel

chapeau chinois



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Last Updated

19 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Chapel.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 27 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for chapel


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

More from Merriam-Webster on chapel

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for chapel

Nglish: Translation of chapel for Spanish Speakers Encyclopedia article about chapel


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