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)

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Other Words from chaplain

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

Examples of chaplain in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The sender was Bob Dorsey, chaplain of the Gresham Police. oregonlive, "Police chief outlasts long-time mayor in bitter Gresham power struggle," 4 July 2020 One horrible night in April, the nurses called the chaplain. Chelsea Mcginnis, CNN, "Think of my babies in the NICU, and wear the mask," 3 July 2020 Mind you, all this is coming from someone who graduated from college less than eight years ago, and someone who today serves as a chaplain in the Sons of Confederate Veterans. Kyle Whitmire, al, "NASCAR and the GOP have the same problem. Only one is trying to do something about it.," 24 June 2020 The Archdiocese of Boston last week asked for the resignation of Daniel Moloney, a priest who had served as chaplain at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology since 2015. Nicholas Rowan, Washington Examiner, "Christianity becomes next battleground in cancel wars," 23 June 2020 Gutierrez's attorneys had argued his religious rights are being violated because the prison system won't allow a chaplain to accompany him in the death chamber. CBS News, "Supreme Court halts execution after chaplain barred from death chamber; Kim Kardashian West hails decision," 17 June 2020 Gutierrez's attorneys had argued his religious rights are being violated because the prison system won't allow a chaplain to accompany him in the death chamber. Fox News, "Supreme Court halts Texas execution over religious-rights concerns after clergy barred from death chamber," 17 June 2020 The Supreme Court blocked Texas from executing a man Tuesday so the justices could consider the inmate’s plea to have a chaplain accompany him in the death chamber. Jess Bravin, WSJ, "Supreme Court Grants Texas Inmate Reprieve From Execution," 17 June 2020 There are also virtual chaplain, yoga, meditation and mental health services available. Mark Medina, USA TODAY, "Inside the NBA's bubble setup at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex during resumed 2020 season," 17 June 2020

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.

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First Known Use of chaplain

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for chaplain

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

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Time Traveler for chaplain

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for chaplain

Last Updated

10 Jul 2020

Cite this Entry

“Chaplain.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 12 Jul. 2020.

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More Definitions for chaplain


How to pronounce chaplain (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of chaplain

: a priest or other Christian religious leader who performs religious services for a military group (such as the army) or for a prison, hospital, etc.


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)

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