chauffeur

1 of 2

noun

chauf·​feur ˈshō-fər How to pronounce chauffeur (audio) shō-ˈfər How to pronounce chauffeur (audio)
: a person employed to drive a motor vehicle

chauffeur

2 of 2

verb

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

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

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.
Recent Examples on the Web
Noun
The Emory will arrange for a return private chauffeur from London’s private airfields or international airports. Abby Montanez, Robb Report, 8 May 2024 Kurosawa’s 1963 movie focused on a Japanese shoe executive faced with a difficult decision amid a high-stakes corporate takeover when his chauffeur’s son is kidnapped. Ryan Gajewski, The Hollywood Reporter, 10 Apr. 2024 Opulence has all these perks, plus a private chauffeur transfer, a more generous baggage allowance, free booking changes and, starting in July, use of an Apple Vision Pro. Daniel Ross, Robb Report, 28 Mar. 2024 Currently, the company is a far cry from achieving anything close to it; its only working tunnel so far is a 2.4-mile stretch of tunnel in Las Vegas that operates like a Tesla chauffeur service for Las Vegas Convention Center attendees. Jessica Mathews, Fortune, 27 Feb. 2024 The company charges an automatic 20% chauffeur gratuity on all rides, and drivers can still accept additional cash tips, Samuels said. Harriet Baskas, NBC News, 11 Feb. 2024 The 1963 Japanese movie told of a shoe executive that was in the middle of a complex corporate takeover when his plans are derailed by the accidental kidnapping and ransom of his chauffeur’s son, instead of his own son. Pamela McClintock, The Hollywood Reporter, 19 Mar. 2024 Visitors can peek into the living quarters of the wealthy and quirky former owners of the historic house, the Bartletts, who began construction in 1920 and once slept in the large, airy master bedroom, with their maids, chauffeur and famous guests in adjacent suites. Lois K. Solomon, Sun Sentinel, 4 Jan. 2024 For now, two burgundy, custom Rolls-Royces are available to chauffeur guests around the city and also make sleek work of the 20-minute drive from Dubai International Airport. Chrissie McClatchie, Travel + Leisure, 5 Mar. 2024
Verb
The seven-day, six-night voyage begins in Paris, where you’ll be chauffeured from Hotel Westminster to Châlons-en-Champagne. Abby Montanez, Robb Report, 13 May 2024 Set in Las Vegas in 1976, Armageddon Road follows a hapless ex-con hired by a mob boss to chauffeur his girlfriend for an evening, only to find his passenger dies of a cocaine overdose. Etan Vlessing, The Hollywood Reporter, 13 May 2024 O’Reilly, the Stanford professor, remembers speaking with one chief executive who woke up the morning after retiring, agreed to get breakfast with his wife and then unthinkingly got in the back seat of his car expecting to be chauffeured. Emma Goldberg Sarah Mollo-Christensen Tanya Pérez Sharon Kearney, New York Times, 9 May 2024 The mission had already begun to go sideways when Dana Beal — a pioneer of New York’s marijuana legalization movement but someone who has never obtained a driver’s license — enlisted a ketamine enthusiast to chauffeur him across America. Corey Kilgannon, New York Times, 26 Mar. 2024 In his engrossing performance as the patriarch of an impoverished but scheming household, Song’s nonchalant effervescence slowly morphs into rage as the experience of chauffeuring a wealthy man ultimately drives him to violence. The New York Times Brooks Barnes, New York Times, 7 Mar. 2024 The North Korean leader is often seen being chauffeured in what’s believed to be a Mercedes-Maybach Pullman Guard armored limousine, worth upwards of $1 million. Yoonjung Seo, CNN, 19 Feb. 2024 Bentley allows buyers who prefer being chauffeured in full back seat comfort to have split rear seats by speccing the interior with a full length center console. Kyle Edward, Forbes, 12 Feb. 2024 What's less common is being chauffeured for that ride by the company's CEO. Jonathan M. Gitlin, Ars Technica, 19 Jan. 2024

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

Word History

Etymology

Noun and Verb

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

First Known Use

Noun

1899, in the meaning defined above

Verb

1917, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense

Time Traveler
The first known use of chauffeur was in 1899

Podcast

Dictionary Entries Near chauffeur

Cite this Entry

“Chauffeur.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/chauffeur. Accessed 28 May. 2024.

Kids Definition

chauffeur

1 of 2 noun
chauf·​feur ˈshō-fər How to pronounce chauffeur (audio) shō-ˈfər How to pronounce chauffeur (audio)
: a person employed to drive people in a car

chauffeur

2 of 2 verb
chauffeured; chauffeuring ˈshō-f(ə-)riŋ How to pronounce chauffeur (audio)
shō-ˈfər-iŋ
1
: to do the work of a chauffeur
2
: to transport as or as if as a chauffeur
chauffeured the children to school
Etymology

Noun

from French chauffeur "driver," literally, "stoker," from chauffer "to heat"

Word Origin
It seems odd that the word chauffeur, meaning "one who drives an automobile for another," should come from the French verb chauffer, meaning "to heat." The title comes from the early days of automobiles, when they were still curious, rare, and, to many people, funny. Automobiles were noisy, produced clouds of smoke, and seemed to require a great deal of work to keep them running. To many people they were like the steam engines used to pull trains. Chauffeur, the French word for the "stoker," or person who kept the fire going in an engine, was used for anyone driving an automobile. Later the term was used only for a person hired to drive someone else's car.
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