chauf·​feur | \ ˈshō-fər How to pronounce chauffeur (audio) , shō-ˈfər How to pronounce chauffeur (audio) \

Definition of chauffeur

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a person employed to drive a motor vehicle


chauffeured; chauffeuring\ ˈshō-​f(ə-​)riŋ How to pronounce chauffeuring (audio) , shō-​ˈfər-​iŋ \

Definition of chauffeur (Entry 2 of 2)

intransitive verb

: to do the work of a chauffeur chauffeured for a millionaire

transitive verb

1 : to transport in the manner of a chauffeur chauffeurs the children to school
2 : to operate (something, such as an automobile) as chauffeur chauffeur a limousine

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Did You Know?


The first chauffeurs were people employed to stoke a steam engine and keep it running. The literal meaning of the French noun chauffeur (from the verb chauffer, meaning "to heat") is "one that heats." In the early days of automobiles, French speakers extended the word to those who drove the "horseless carriage," and it eventually developed an extended sense specifically for someone hired to drive other people. It was this latter sense that was borrowed into English in the late 19th century. Incidentally, the French word chauffeur derives from the same Anglo-French word that gave English speakers the verb chafe, and ultimately can be traced back to the Latin verb calēre ("to be warm").

Examples of chauffeur in a Sentence

Verb He chauffeurs for a millionaire. She was chauffeured to the airport. He chauffeured his client to the hotel.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun From 1960 Mandela led the underground campaign of the African National Congress’s military wing, umKhonto weSizwe, moving around the country disguised as a chauffeur, with trips abroad to rally support, so his boxing training became sporadic. Gavin Evans, Quartz Africa, "How Mandela stayed fit: from his “matchbox” Soweto home to his Robben Island prison cell," 7 Apr. 2020 That’s about half of what carpenters, truckers and vocational nurses earn and about $4,000 less than taxi drivers and chauffeurs. Sophie Alexander,, "What Taco Bell’s $100,000 Salary Offer Says About U.S. Jobs," 12 May 2020 This time, on Friday, the founder's descendants were greeted by a chauffeur driving a Cadillac who took them around the city to see the signs of their family's impact on Detroit. Meredith Spelbring, Detroit Free Press, "Descendants of founder of Detroit didn't tell anyone they were going to visit city," 8 Mar. 2020 The chauffeur and grandmother of three, who hadn’t been working because of the COVID-19 crisis, said her savings account had been newly padded with a $4,900 tax refund. Kiah Collier And Ren Larson, ProPublica, "Coronavirus Put Her Out of Work, Then Debt Collectors Froze Her Savings Account," 22 Apr. 2020 His departure would have left a spot for a chauffeur just as Vander Poorten arrived in France. Paula Allen,, "Tip’s Place near Kelly was popular gathering spot for San Antonio’s Belgian community in first half of 1900s," 25 Apr. 2020 Like other sections of the economy, García's normal work as a private chauffeur dried up overnight. Fox News, "Spanish taxi drivers, chauffeurs go the extra distance to help amid coronavirus pandemic," 22 Apr. 2020 While PEDv can’t infect people, the pathogen used them as its oblivious chauffeurs, hitching rides to new swine hosts as farmers, feed suppliers and veterinarians traveled from place to place. Katherine J. Wu, Smithsonian Magazine, "A Coronavirus Spread Through U.S. Pigs in 2013. Here’s How It Was Stopped," 10 Apr. 2020 After Crawford died in 1929, Sadie married a chauffeur from D.C. named Frank Mozee and spent the rest of her life in Washington. John Kelly, Washington Post, "Her life was in the purse she left on Metro. Would she ever see it again?," 5 Nov. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Elon Musk's SpaceX is the conductor and NASA the customer as businesses begin chauffeuring astronauts to the International Space Station. Marcia Dunn, The Christian Science Monitor, "SpaceX and NASA unite to return Americans to space," 25 May 2020 No chauffeuring the kids all over town, no schlepping to gymnastics practice three nights per week. Bernhard Warner, Fortune, "The global rally at risk of fizzling after Thursday’s historic ‘bull’ run," 27 Mar. 2020 That case involved a tour-bus driver who fell sick after chauffeuring two groups from Wuhan, the center of the outbreak, this month. Stephanie Yang, WSJ, "Travel Barriers Rise as WHO Chief Praises Beijing’s Coronavirus Response," 29 Jan. 2020 Prosecutors described several schemes orchestrated by Avenatti to hide his assets from a client, a former legal partner, and an ex-wife while living in an $11,000-a-month apartment, being chauffeured in a Mercedes, and staying at luxury resorts. Brian Melley,, "Judge revokes bail for Avenatti, cites new crime evidence," 15 Jan. 2020 Harkness and his family were chauffeured in a stretch limo, just like The Voice judges, to a live taping of show. Isabel Garcia, House Beautiful, "Blake Shelton Meets a 7-Year-Old Wish Kid at The Voice Semifinals," 19 Dec. 2019 Parents chauffeuring tiny superheroes, ghosts, princesses, sports stars and other costumed candy grabbers Halloween night want to know the weather. oregonlive, "Portland’s Halloween forecast: Dry, but cool for trick-or-treaters," 31 Oct. 2019 Most importantly, commuting women make more stops than men to chauffeur children and pick up groceries, tasks that prove more difficult on two wheels. Dasia Moore, Quartz, "Women love bikes—so why don’t they cycle to work?," 8 Dec. 2019 Misha’s husband, Rob Robson, who stopped working because of health problems, chauffeured the women to their jobs and watched his and Misha’s two sons. Gabrielle Russon,, "After historic pay raises, a family of Disney workers can finally afford to move to a bigger home," 5 Dec. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'chauffeur.' 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 chauffeur


1899, in the meaning defined above


1917, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense

History and Etymology for chauffeur

Noun and Verb

French, literally, stoker, from chauffer to heat, from Old French chaufer — more at chafe

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Time Traveler for chauffeur

Time Traveler

The first known use of chauffeur was in 1899

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Statistics for chauffeur

Last Updated

15 Jun 2020

Cite this Entry

“Chauffeur.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 9 Jul. 2020.

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More Definitions for chauffeur


How to pronounce chauffeur (audio) How to pronounce chauffeur (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of chauffeur

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a person whose job is to drive people around in a car



English Language Learners Definition of chauffeur (Entry 2 of 2)

: to drive (someone) around in a car as a job : to work as a chauffeur
: to drive (someone) in a car to a certain place


chauf·​feur | \ ˈshō-fər How to pronounce chauffeur (audio) , shō-ˈfər \

Kids Definition of chauffeur

: a person hired to drive people around in a car

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