chicane

verb
chi·​cane | \ shi-ˈkān How to pronounce chicane (audio) , chi- \
chicaned; chicaning

Definition of chicane

 (Entry 1 of 2)

intransitive verb

: to use chicanery a wretch he had taught to lie and chicane— George Meredith

chicane

noun

Definition of chicane (Entry 2 of 2)

2a : an obstacle on a racecourse
b : a series of tight turns in opposite directions in an otherwise straight stretch of a road-racing course
3 : the absence of trumps in a hand of cards

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Did You Know?

Verb

There's no mystery about the origins of chicane. It's from the Middle French verb chicaner, meaning "to quibble" or "to prevent justice," and print evidence of its use as a verb in English dates to around 1672. The noun form of chicane was first used in print in 1686. In addition to referring to "trickery," the noun chicane is used to refer to an obstacle or a series of tight turns in opposite directions on a racecourse. In card games, chicane refers to the absence of trumps in a hand of cards. One curiosity of this word set is that the word that would appear to be a derivative of chicane-chicanery (a synonym of chicane in its "trickery" sense)-actually appeared in English over 60 years before chicane.

Examples of chicane in a Sentence

Verb a lawyer who is so notorious for chicaning that the guilty invariably seek his services Noun most get-rich-quick schemes involve more than a smidgen of chicane
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun The Roval uses twists and turns around the circuit marked with chicanes on the backstretch and frontstretch to slow the cars, and, potentially increase passing on the oval portion of the track. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Byron to lead field at home track with playoffs on line," 29 Sep. 2019 But Newman, racing Aric Almirola over the final few laps for a shot at advancing, missed a chicane and the error cost him his shot at advancing. BostonGlobe.com, "Chase Elliott recovers to win first elimination race - The Boston Globe," 30 Sep. 2019 But Newman, racing Aric Almirola over the final few laps for a shot at advancing, missed a chicane with two laps remaining and the error cost him his shot at advancing. Jenna Fryer, orlandosentinel.com, "After head-on hit against barrier, Elliott wins playoff race at Charlotte in scorching heat," 29 Sep. 2019 Just six laps from home, on Lap 47, Senna made his move and dived down the inside of Prost through the chicane. Sarah Holt, CNN, "Japanese GP: Driven by emotion, Senna and Prost collide at Suzuka," 10 Oct. 2019 The twists and turns around the circuit are marked with chicanes on the backstretch and frontstretch to slow the cars, and, potentially increase passing on the oval portion of the track. BostonGlobe.com, "Chase Elliott recovers to win first elimination race - The Boston Globe," 30 Sep. 2019 The twists and turns around the circuit are marked with chicanes on the backstretch and frontstretch to slow the cars, and potentially increase passing on the oval portion of the track. Jenna Fryer, orlandosentinel.com, "After head-on hit against barrier, Elliott wins playoff race at Charlotte in scorching heat," 29 Sep. 2019 Drivers were rolling through the chicane area across rumble strips, in effect shortening the distance and generally maintaining high speeds. Mike Hembree, USA TODAY, "Charlotte Motor Speedway's 'roval' course remains a mystery after testing," 10 July 2018 Monza is one of the oldest tracks still used today and demands precise timing of every input, especially when racing the layout with chicanes. Austin Irwin, Car and Driver, "Keep It 1.11: Gran Turismo Sport Expands with New Update," 5 Feb. 2018

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

Verb

circa 1671, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense

Noun

1683, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for chicane

Verb

French chicaner, from Middle French, to quibble, prevent justice

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Time Traveler for chicane

Time Traveler

The first known use of chicane was circa 1671

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Last Updated

27 Apr 2020

Cite this Entry

“Chicane.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/chicane. Accessed 30 May. 2020.

More from Merriam-Webster on chicane

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for chicane

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with chicane

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