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


Middle English chaiere, from Old French, from Latin cathedra; see cathedra.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)



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