from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A piece of furniture consisting of a seat, legs, back, and often arms, designed to accommodate one person.
  • n. A seat of office, authority, or dignity, such as that of a bishop.
  • n. An office or position of authority, such as a professorship.
  • n. A person who holds an office or a position of authority, such as one who presides over a meeting or administers a department of instruction at a college; a chairperson.
  • n. The position of a player in an orchestra.
  • n. Slang The electric chair.
  • n. A seat carried about on poles; a sedan chair.
  • n. Any of several devices that serve to support or secure, such as a metal block that supports and holds railroad track in position.
  • transitive v. To install in a position of authority, especially as a presiding officer.
  • transitive v. To preside over as chairperson: chair a meeting.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. An item of furniture used to sit on or in comprising a seat, legs, back, and sometimes arm rests, for use by one person. Compare stool, couch, sofa, settee, loveseat and bench.
  • n. Chairperson.
  • n. The seating position of a particular musician in an orchestra.
  • n. Blocks that support and hold railroad track in position, and similar devices.
  • n. One of two possible conformers of cyclohexane rings (the other being boat), shaped roughly like a chair.
  • n. The electric chair.
  • n. A professorship at a university
  • v. To act as chairperson.
  • v. To carry someone in a seated position upon one's shoulders, especially in celebration or victory
  • v. To award a chair to the winning poet at a Welsh eisteddfod.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A movable single seat with a back.
  • n. An official seat, as of a chief magistrate or a judge, but esp. that of a professor; hence, the office itself.
  • n. The presiding officer of an assembly; a chairman.
  • n. A vehicle for one person; either a sedan borne upon poles, or two-wheeled carriage, drawn by one horse; a gig.
  • n. An iron block used on railways to support the rails and secure them to the sleepers.
  • transitive v. To place in a chair.
  • transitive v. To carry publicly in a chair in triumph.
  • transitive v. To function as chairperson of (a meeting, committee, etc.).

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To place or carry in a chair; especially, carry publicly in a chair in triumph.
  • To place in a chair of office; install; enthrone.
  • n. A seat having a back, and sometimes arms, intended for the accommodation of one person.
  • n. A seat of office or authority: as, the chair of a judge, a professor, the presiding officer of a meeting or an assembly, etc.
  • n. The incumbent of a seat of authority; a professor or the like; now, specifically, the chairman or presiding officer of an assemblage: as, to address or support the chair.
  • n. One of four conventions connected with the eisteddfod of Wales, in which bardic matters are discussed and disciples trained in preparation for the great gorsedd or assembly.
  • n. A sedan-chair.
  • n. A two-wheeled carriage drawn by one horse; a chaise; a gig.
  • n. One of the iron blocks forming a kind of clutch by which, according to a common English system, the rails in a railroad are supported and secured to the sleepers or ties. A jointchair is a chair that secures the connection of two rails at their ends.
  • n. A sort of low wheeled carriage.
  • n. The office or dignity of chief magistrate of a city or corporate town in England, especially of the City of London: as, an alderman below the chair is one who has not yet served as lord mayor.
  • n. In glass-blowing, a seat of special construction in which the glass-blower sits, using the elongated and horizontal arms as supports for the pontil as he rolls it backward and forward; hence, the gang of men who work in and about such a chair.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. the position of professor
  • n. a seat for one person, with a support for the back
  • n. the officer who presides at the meetings of an organization
  • v. act or preside as chair, as of an academic department in a university
  • v. preside over
  • n. an instrument of execution by electrocution; resembles an ordinary seat for one person
  • n. a particular seat in an orchestra


from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

Middle English chaiere, from Old French, from Latin cathedra; see cathedra.



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  • In glassmaking, the bench used by the gaffer while forming a glass object. Traditionally, it's a wide bench with arms on which the gaffer rests the blowpipe with its parison of molten glass and rolls it backward and forward so that the parison retains its symmetrical shape during the forming process. "Chair" also refers to the team of glassworkers who assist a gaffer.

    November 9, 2007