Definitions

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

  • noun A member of the clergy attached to a chapel.
  • noun A member of the clergy who conducts religious services for an institution, such as a prison or hospital.
  • noun A lay person who is appointed to provide spiritual leadership and counseling to members of an institution, as at a university.
  • noun A member of the clergy who is connected with a royal court or an aristocratic household.
  • noun A member of the clergy attached to a branch of the armed forces.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun An ecclesiastic attached to a chapel; especially, one officiating in the private chapel of a king or nobleman, or other person of wealth or distinction.
  • noun An ecclesiastic who renders service to one authorized to employ such assistance, as to an archbishop, or to a family; a confessor.
  • noun A clergyman who occupies an official position, and performs certain religious functions, in the army or navy, in a legislative or other public body, in a charitable institution, or the like: as, the chaplain of the House of Representatives.
  • noun A private secretary to the lady superior of a convent.

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

  • noun An ecclesiastic who has a chapel, or who performs religious service in a chapel.
  • noun A clergyman who is officially attached to the army or navy, to some public institution, or to a family or court, for the purpose of performing divine service.
  • noun Any person (clergyman or layman) chosen to conduct religious exercises for a society, etc..

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

  • noun A member of the clergy officially assigned to an institution, group, private chapel, etc.

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

  • noun a clergyman ministering to some institution

Etymologies

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

[Middle English chapelein, from Old French chapelain, from Medieval Latin capellānus, from capella, chapel; see chapel.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Old French chapelain, from Late Latin cappellanus, from cappella.

Examples

  • Marine Corps chaplain is expected in federal court Thursday to answer a misdemeanor charge of unlawfully wearing military medals.

    Heroes or Villains?

  • The Rev. Daniel Coughlin - chaplain of the House of Representatives - is expected to give a prayer when the hearse stops.

    Friends, staffers gather on Capitol Hill

  • Here the duchess's chaplain is guilty of a felony; he is liable to fourteen years 'transportation (Doody, Murray 298-299).

    'Pleasure is now, and ought to be, your business': Stealing Sexuality in Jane Austen's _Juvenilia_

  • It strikes Shaftoe as typical – he supposes that the books say completely different things and that the chaplain is deriving great pleasure from pitting them against [...]

    December « 2005 « So Many Books

  • It strikes Shaftoe as typical – he supposes that the books say completely different things and that the chaplain is deriving great pleasure from pitting them against each other, like those guys who have a chessboard on a turntable so that they can play against themselves.

    Pitting Books Against Each Other « So Many Books

  • Today, Knight Ridder correspondents report the chaplain is being investigated.

    Behind the News: April 2003

  • Today, Knight Ridder correspondents report the chaplain is being investigated.

    Archive 2003-04-01

  • When he told me what he told me, I said to him that for his soul's comfort he should let me call our chaplain, and as a sick man make his confession to him and seek absolution.

    The Devil's Novice

  • When he told me what he told me, I said to him that for his soul's comfort he should let me call our chaplain, and as a sick man make his confession to him and seek absolution.

    The Devil's Novice

  • Next, he called the chaplain, -- for he would fain have him at his elbow to countenance the devilish deeds he meditated, -- and embarked, with him, twelve soldiers, and two Indian guides, in another boat.

    The Atlantic Monthly, Volume 12, No. 73, November, 1863

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