from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- n. The space around the altar of a church for the clergy and sometimes the choir, often enclosed by a lattice or railing.
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- n. The space around the altar in a church, often enclosed, for use by the clergy and the choir. In medieval cathedrals the chancel was usually enclosed or blocked off from the nave by an altar screen.
from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English
- n. That part of a church, reserved for the use of the clergy, where the altar, or communion table, is placed.
- n. All that part of a cruciform church which is beyond the line of the transept farthest from the main front.
from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. Eccles., the inclosed space in a church surrounding the altar, and railed off from the choir; the sanctuary.
- n. An inclosed space railed off in courts of judicature.
from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.
- n. area around the altar of a church for the clergy and choir; often enclosed by a lattice or railing
Middle English chauncel, from Old French chancel, from Late Latin cancellus, latticework, sing. of Latin cancellī; see cancel.(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Old French. (Wiktionary)