1. A wreath or garland for the head.
2. Roman Catholic Church
a. A string of beads resembling a rosary, used to count iterations in a devotional sequence of prayers.
b. The sequence of prayers counted on such a string of beads.
3. A string of beads.
4. Architecture A small molding carved to resemble a string of beads.
[Middle English chapelet, from Old French, diminutive of chapel, hat, wreath; see CHAPEAU.]
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.