See also: chaïr and Chair

English

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Alternative forms

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Etymology

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From Middle English chayer, chaire, chaiere, chaere, chayre, chayere, from Old French chaiere, chaere, from Latin cathedra (seat), from Ancient Greek καθέδρα (kathédra), from κατά (katá, down) + ἕδρα (hédra, seat). Displaced native stool and settle, which now have more specialised senses. Doublet of cathedra and chaise.

Pronunciation

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Noun

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A chair (item of furniture).
 
Chairs (rail supports on a railway).
 
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chair (plural chairs)

  1. An item of furniture used to sit on or in, comprising a seat, legs or wheels, back, and sometimes arm rests, for use by one person. Compare stool, couch, sofa, settee, loveseat and bench.
    All I need to weather a snowstorm is hot coffee, a warm fire, a good book and a comfortable chair.
    • 1918, W[illiam] B[abington] Maxwell, chapter XII, in The Mirror and the Lamp, Indianapolis, Ind.: The Bobbs-Merrill Company, →OCLC:
      There were many wooden chairs for the bulk of his visitors, and two wicker armchairs with red cloth cushions for superior people. From the packing-cases had emerged some Indian clubs, [], and all these articles [] made a scattered and untidy decoration that Mrs. Clough assiduously dusted and greatly cherished.
    • 1963, Margery Allingham, chapter 19, in The China Governess: A Mystery, London: Chatto & Windus, →OCLC:
      Meanwhile Nanny Broome was recovering from her initial panic and seemed anxious to make up for any kudos she might have lost, by exerting her personality to the utmost. She took the policeman's helmet and placed it on a chair, and unfolded his tunic to shake it and fold it up again for him.
  2. (often with definite article, also written Chair) Clipping of chairperson.
    Under the rules of order adopted by the board, the chair may neither make nor second motions.
    • 1658 March 23, Thomas Burton, edited by John Towill Rutt, Diary, London: Henry Colburn, published 1828, page 243:
      The Chair behaves himself like a Busby amongst so many school-boys [] and takes a little too much on him.
    • 1887 September 5, The Times:
      It can hardly be conceived that the Chair would fail to gain the support of the House.
    • 1950 March, Michael Robbins, “Dr. Lardner's "Railway Economy"”, in Railway Magazine, page 153:
      He was elected to the chair of Natural Philosophy and Astronomy in 1827 at the newly-founded London University, and became prominent in railway controversies in the 'thirties, when he came off second best in a dispute with Daniel Gooch about the effects of speed on the human frame.
    • 2020 June 3, Lilian Greenwood talks to Paul Stephen, “Rail's 'underlying challenges' remain”, in Rail, page 34:
      She adds: "I'd also like to think that as chair I was friendly but firm. I wanted to encourage people to give evidence, while there are others who need to be coaxed, held to account and asked tough questions."
  3. (music) The seating position of a particular musician in an orchestra.
    My violin teacher used to play first chair with the Boston Pops.
  4. (rail transport) An iron block used on railways to support the rails and secure them to the sleepers, and similar devices.
    • 1934 February, “The Why and The Wherefore: Chair-keys”, in Railway Magazine, page 139:
      The wooden or steel keys used to secure bull-head rails in their chairs are usually driven in the direction of the traffic, so that the effects of rail-creep may be made use of to wedge the keys more firmly, rather than to encourage them to drop out.
  5. (organic chemistry, physical chemistry) One of two possible conformers of cyclohexane rings (the other being boat), shaped roughly like a chair.
  6. (informal, with the) Ellipsis of electric chair (device used for performing execution).
    The court will show no mercy; if he gets convicted, it's the chair for him.
    • 1920 June, The Electrical Experimenter, New York, page 216, column 2:
      "It was me. And I'm glad, damned glad, I didn't croak him. With this slick guy after me, it would be me for the chair."
    • 1934, Agatha Christie, chapter 8, in Murder on the Orient Express, London: HarperCollins, published 2017, page 251:
      'All for a pig of a man who should have gone to the chair.'
    • 1949, Isobel Lennart, Holiday Affair, spoken by Carl Davis (Wendell Corey):
      Believe it or not, it only looked like I was trying to send you to the chair.
    • 1989 June 16, Ivan Reitman, director, Ghostbusters II:
      "Scoleri Brothers!" "Friends of yours?" "I tried them for murder! Gave them the chair!"
  7. (education) A distinguished professorship at a university.
  8. A vehicle for one person; either a sedan borne upon poles, or a two-wheeled carriage drawn by one horse; a gig.
    • 1591 (date written), William Shakespeare, “The Second Part of Henry the Sixt, []”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies. [] (First Folio), London: [] Isaac Iaggard, and Ed[ward] Blount, published 1623, →OCLC, [Act II, scene v], page 104, column 2:
      Enter Mortimer, brought in a Chayre, and Iaylors.
    • 1777, Richard Brinsley Sheridan, The School for Scandal, IV.iii:
      She always leaves her Chair at the milliner's in the next Street.
    • 1712, Alexander Pope, “The Rape of the Lock”, in The Beauties of Pope, London: G. Kearsley, published 1783, page 32:
      Think what an equipage thou haſt in air,
      And view with ſcorn two pages and a chair.
    • 1837, L[etitia] E[lizabeth] L[andon], “An Interview”, in Ethel Churchill: Or, The Two Brides. [], volume II, London: Henry Colburn, [], →OCLC, page 211:
      The chairs came at the appointed hour, and Ethel could not but be amused at the glimpses she had of the park along which they were carried; although haunted by misgivings as to the judiciousness of their destination. They were set down in a hall of large dimensions, hung round with portraits, and filled with servants, who had more the air of guards.
  9. The seat or office of a person in authority, such as a judge or bishop.

Derived terms

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Descendants

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Translations

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The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout § Translations.

Verb

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chair (third-person singular simple present chairs, present participle chairing, simple past and past participle chaired)

  1. (transitive) To act as chairperson at; to preside over.
    Bob will chair tomorrow's meeting.
    • 2020 May 20, “Merriman praised over handling of TSC's 'virtual' transition”, in Rail, page 12:
      Greenwood told RAIL she was disappointed that Parliamentary rules prevented her from chairing the TSC [Transport Select Committee] beyond last December's General Election, [...] She added: "I'm gutted I'm no longer able to chair the committee, I'm not going to lie. But I know it's in good hands and I'm still able to play my part as a member in the work we're doing.
  2. (transitive) To carry in a seated position upon one's shoulders, especially in celebration or victory.
    • 1896, A. E. Houseman, “To An Athlete Dying Young,”, in A Shropshire Lad:
      The time you won your town the race
      We chaired you through the marketplace.
  3. (transitive, Wales, UK) To award a chair to (a winning poet) at a Welsh eisteddfod.
    The poet was chaired at the national Eisteddfod.

Translations

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References

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  1. ^ Stanley, Oma (1937) “I. Vowel Sounds in Stressed Syllables”, in The Speech of East Texas (American Speech: Reprints and Monographs; 2), New York: Columbia University Press, →DOI, →ISBN, § 6, page 16.

Anagrams

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French

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Etymology

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Inherited from Middle French chair, char, from Old French char, charn (earlier carn), from Latin carnem, from Proto-Italic *karō, from Proto-Indo-European *ker-, *(s)ker-. Doublet of carne.

Pronunciation

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Noun

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chair f (plural chairs)

  1. flesh

Derived terms

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Descendants

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Further reading

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Gallo

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Verb

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chair

  1. Alternative form of chaeir
    Une avion san liméro qu'est chaite ste netey à Eastdown dan le Sussex
    A plane without number that has crashed this night at Eastdown, Sussex

Manx

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Adjective

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chair

  1. Lenited form of cair.

Noun

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chair f

  1. Lenited form of cair.

Mutation

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Manx mutation
Radical Lenition Eclipsis
cair chair gair
Note: Some of these forms may be hypothetical. Not every
possible mutated form of every word actually occurs.

Middle French

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Alternative forms

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Etymology

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From Old French char, charn, from Latin carnem, accusative singular of carō.

Noun

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chair f (plural chairs)

  1. flesh

Descendants

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Old French

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Verb

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chair

  1. Alternative form of cheoir