from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun A piece of furniture designed to accommodate one sitting or reclining person, providing support for the back and often the arms and typically standing on four legs.
  • noun A seat of office, authority, or dignity, such as that of a bishop.
  • noun An office or position of authority, such as a professorship.
  • noun 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.
  • noun The position of a player in an orchestra.
  • noun Slang The electric chair.
  • noun A seat carried about on poles; a sedan chair.
  • noun Any of several devices that serve to support or secure, such as a metal block that supports and holds railroad track in position.
  • transitive verb To preside over as chairperson.
  • transitive verb To install (someone) in a position of authority, especially as a presiding officer.
  • transitive verb To carry (someone) high off the ground in a chair or in a seated position, especially as a tribute.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • To place or carry in a chair; especially, carry publicly in a chair in triumph.
  • To place in a chair of office; install; enthrone.
  • noun 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.
  • noun 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.
  • noun A seat having a back, and sometimes arms, intended for the accommodation of one person.
  • noun A seat of office or authority: as, the chair of a judge, a professor, the presiding officer of a meeting or an assembly, etc.
  • noun 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.
  • noun 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.
  • noun A sedan-chair.
  • noun A two-wheeled carriage drawn by one horse; a chaise; a gig.
  • noun 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.
  • noun A sort of low wheeled carriage.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

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

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun 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.
  • noun Chairperson.
  • noun music The seating position of a particular musician in an orchestra.
  • noun rail transport Blocks that support and hold railroad track in position, and similar devices.
  • noun chemistry One of two possible conformers of cyclohexane rings (the other being boat), shaped roughly like a chair.
  • noun slang, with the The electric chair.
  • noun A professorship at a university
  • verb To act as chairperson.
  • verb To carry someone in a seated position upon one's shoulders, especially in celebration or victory
  • verb Wales, UK To award a chair to the winning poet at a Welsh eisteddfod.

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

  • noun the position of professor
  • noun a seat for one person, with a support for the back
  • noun the officer who presides at the meetings of an organization
  • verb act or preside as chair, as of an academic department in a university
  • verb preside over


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