chap·​lain | \ ˈcha-plən How to pronounce chaplain (audio) \

Definition of chaplain

1 : a clergyman in charge of a chapel
2 : a clergyman officially attached to a branch of the military, to an institution, or to a family or court
3 : a person chosen to conduct religious exercises (as at a meeting of a club or society)
4 : a clergyman appointed to assist a bishop (as at a liturgical function)

Other Words from chaplain

chaplaincy \ ˈcha-​plən-​sē How to pronounce chaplain (audio) \ noun

Examples of chaplain in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Byrne received his official chaplain badge earlier in the month from Police Sgt. Carol Kovach, cleveland, 17 May 2022 College chaplain Adam Roberts held a campus gathering Sunday afternoon, after which students were able to meet individually or in groups with faculty who are trained to help support students through the loss, Baxter said. Rosana Hughes, ajc, 16 May 2022 One night, while huddled in a bunker under heavy bombardment, a chaplain recounted to her the story of a medieval Catholic military order, the Knights Hospitaller. Luke Mogelson, The New Yorker, 2 May 2022 During those hours staff members can help connect visitors with a chaplain. Shanti Lerner, The Arizona Republic, 2 Mar. 2022 At top, chaplain Denys Kravchuk and Ukrainian service members attending one of his services at their Zaporizhzhia base. Washington Post, 7 May 2022 Dressed as a priest, the man arrived at the barracks of the Queen’s Household Division soldiers on April 26, claiming to be a friend of the Coldstream Guards’ military chaplain. Omid Scobie, Harper's BAZAAR, 3 May 2022 The panel consists of William Alempijevic, executive director of the New York Thoroughbred Horsemen's Association, Saratoga Springs attorney John J. Carusone, Jr., and racetrack chaplain Rev. Humberto Chavez. Tim Sullivan, The Courier-Journal, 27 Apr. 2022 Anchorage’s chaplain canine, Cupid, along with national crisis response dogs stopped by popular spots in Girdwood the week after her death to offer support to people in the community, said Margaret Griffo, of the Alaska Police and Fire Chaplains. Tess Williams, Anchorage Daily News, 22 Apr. 2022 See More

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

First Known Use of chaplain

12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 2

History and Etymology for chaplain

Middle English chapelein, from Anglo-French, from Medieval Latin cappellanus, from cappella

Learn More About chaplain

Time Traveler for chaplain

Time Traveler

The first known use of chaplain was in the 12th century

See more words from the same century

Dictionary Entries Near chaplain



chaplain in ordinary

See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for chaplain

Last Updated

24 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Chaplain.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 25 May. 2022.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

More Definitions for chaplain


chap·​lain | \ ˈcha-plən How to pronounce chaplain (audio) \

Kids Definition of chaplain

: a member of the clergy who performs religious services for a special group (as the army)


Test Your Vocabulary

Name That Color

  • a light greenish blue color
  • Name that color:
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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