Definitions

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

  • noun A court of chancery.
  • noun The proceedings and practice of a court of chancery; equity.
  • noun A court of public record; an office of archives.
  • noun One of the five divisions of the High Court of Justice of Great Britain, presided over by the Lord High Chancellor.
  • noun The office or department of a chancellor; a chancellery.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun Originally, the office of a chancellor, notary, or secretary, where the records were kept and official documents were prepared, sealed, and despatched.
  • noun In England, formerly, the highest court of justice next to Parliament, presided over by the lord chancellor, but since 1873 a division of the High Court of Justice
  • noun In Scotland, an office in the general register-house at Edinburgh, in which are recorded charters, patents of dignities, gifts of office, remissions, legitimations, and all other writs appointed to pass the great or the quarter seal. Also chancellery.
  • noun In the United States, a court of equity. See equity.
  • noun In pugilism, the position of a boxer's head when it is under his adversary's arm, so that it may be held and pommeled severely, the victim meanwhile being unable to retaliate effectively: in the phrase in chancery.
  • noun In an awkward predicament.
  • noun See 5, above.

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

  • noun In England, formerly, the highest court of judicature next to the Parliament, exercising jurisdiction at law, but chiefly in equity; but under the jurisdiction act of 1873 it became the chancery division of the High Court of Justice, and now exercises jurisdiction only in equity.
  • noun In the Unites States, a court of equity; equity; proceeding in equity.
  • noun See under Inn.
  • noun (Boxing) to get the head of an antagonist under one's arm, so that one can pommel it with the other fist at will; hence, to have wholly in One's power. The allusion is to the condition of a person involved in the chancery court, where he was helpless, while the lawyers lived upon his estate.

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

  • noun In England, formerly, the highest court of judicature next to the Parliament, exercising jurisdiction at law, but chiefly in equity; but under the jurisdiction act of 1873 it became the chancery division of the High Court of Justice, and now exercises jurisdiction only in equity.
  • noun In the United States, a court of equity; equity; proceeding in equity.
  • noun The type of building that houses a diplomatic mission or embassy.
  • noun The type of building that houses the offices and administration of a diocese; the offices of a diocese.

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

  • noun a court with jurisdiction in equity
  • noun an office of archives for public or ecclesiastic records; a court of public records

Etymologies

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

[Middle English chancerie, alteration of chancelrie; see chancellery.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

French chancellerie, from Late Latin cancellaria, from Latin cancellarius, from cancellus ("lattice") (English chancel), from cancelli ("grating, bars") (from which cancel ("cross out (with lines, as in a latticework)")), from the lattice-work that separated a section of a church or court.

Examples

Comments

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  • "'... that still leaves a good deal of room for rum capers, such as getting your man's head in a chancery, as we call it—pinned under your left arm—and hammering away with the other fist till he can neither see nor stand...'"

    --P. O'Brian, The Yellow Admiral, 54

    March 19, 2008