chas·​sis ˈcha-sē How to pronounce chassis (audio) ˈsha-sē How to pronounce chassis (audio)
 also  ˈcha-səs
plural chassis ˈcha-sēz How to pronounce chassis (audio)
: the supporting frame of a structure (such as an automobile or television)
Leaf springs are attached to the car's chassis.
also : the frame and working parts (as of an automobile or electronic device) exclusive of the body or housing

Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web The Blackwing's adaptive dampers are the perfect tools for soaking up little bumps and keeping the chassis under control during normal or high-performance track driving. Austin Irwin, Car and Driver, 31 May 2023 In addition, body control is excellent, despite the inability to stiffen the chassis beyond its default setting, and the level of mechanical grip available is stunning. Bradley Iger, Robb Report, 25 May 2023 The car features black and papaya colors on the chassis with a papaya star surrounding the seat and three black stars along the left rear wing. Bruce Martin, Forbes, 19 Apr. 2023 The deadly combination of speed and impact broke the pickup’s cab off the chassis and flipped it upside down beyond the engine compartment. Sharon Grigsby, Dallas News, 14 Apr. 2023 To understand what’s at stake, compare the chassis of the Ford F-150 pickup truck — the top-selling passenger vehicle in the United States — with its all-electric version, both built at the Rouge complex. Coral Davenport, New York Times, 7 Apr. 2023 Beneath the chassis burns a circle of white candles, similar to those used in memorial services. Mary Carole Mccauley, Baltimore Sun, 6 Apr. 2023 The trailing arm, which connects the car’s axle to the chassis, could potentially fall off and cause a crash, according to the report. Orlando Mayorquin, USA TODAY, 6 Apr. 2023 PCMag Top Daily Deals (Credit: PCMag/Kyle Cobian) Dell XPS 13 Laptop Dell's XPS 13 laptop is a lightweight and compact 13.4-inch Windows 11 system with a premium metal chassis and 1920-by-1200 resolution 60Hz display. Stephanie Mlot, PCMAG, 16 Mar. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'chassis.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


borrowed from French châssis "window sash, cold frame, frame holding cloth to be painted or embroidered, supporting frame of a motor vehicle," going back to Old French chasiz "window frame" from casse (Anglo-Norman & Norman dialect) "reliquary" (Middle French chasse "frame, mount") + -iz, denominal collective suffix, often of things linked or intertwined, of uncertain origin — more at case entry 2

Note: To judge by the derivative chasiz, attested already in the twelfth century (Roman d'Énéas), the meaning "frame" of casse/chasse is older than its first Middle French attestation in the fourteenth century. Presumably the Latin source capsa had developed more than one sense, all subsumable under the meaning "something holding or enclosing" in Gallo-Romance.

First Known Use

circa 1864, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of chassis was circa 1864

Dictionary Entries Near chassis

Cite this Entry

“Chassis.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 4 Jun. 2023.

Kids Definition


chas·​sis ˈshas-ē How to pronounce chassis (audio) ˈchas-ē How to pronounce chassis (audio)
plural chassis -ēz How to pronounce chassis (audio)
: a supporting frame (as that of the body of an automobile or airplane or the parts of a radio or television receiver)
Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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