1. 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.
2. A seat of office, authority, or dignity, such as that of a bishop.
a. An office or position of authority, such as a professorship.
b. 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.
4. The position of a player in an orchestra.
5. Slang The electric chair.
6. A seat carried about on poles; a sedan chair.
7. Any of several devices that serve to support or secure, such as a metal block that supports and holds railroad track in position.
tr.v. chaired, chair·ing, chairs
1. To preside over as chairperson: chair a meeting.
2. To install (someone) in a position of authority, especially as a presiding officer.
3. To carry (someone) high off the ground in a chair or in a seated position, especially as a tribute.
[Middle English chaiere, from Old French, from Latin cathedra; see CATHEDRA.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.