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Bothwell Chapel - McKendree College


Borrowed from Old French chapele, from Late Latin cappella (little cloak; chapel), diminutive of cappa (cloak, cape).

  • Martin was said to have torn his military cloak in half to clothe a poor man, who was later revealed to him as Christ himself. The cut down “little cloak”, cappella in Latin, later became one of the most prized possessions of the Frankish barbarian rulers who succeeded Roman governors in Gaul, and the series of small churches or temporary structures which sheltered this much-venerated relic were named after it: capellae.’ (Diarmaid MacCulloch, A History of Christianity, Penguin 2010, p. 313)


  • (UK) IPA(key): /ˈtʃɑː.pəl/
  • (US) IPA(key): /ˈtʃæ.pəl/
  • (file)
  • Rhymes: -æpəl


chapel (plural chapels)

  1. A place of worship, smaller than or subordinate to a church.
  2. A place of worship in a civil institution such as an airport, prison etc.
    • 1918, W. B. Maxwell, chapter 3, in The Mirror and the Lamp:
      One saint's day in mid-term a certain newly appointed suffragan-bishop came to the school chapel, and there preached on “The Inner Life.”
  3. A funeral home, or a room in one for holding funeral services.
  4. A trade union branch in UK printing or journalism.
  5. A printing office, said to be so called because printing was first carried on in England in a chapel near Westminster Abbey.
  6. A choir of singers, or an orchestra, attached to the court of a prince or nobleman.

Derived termsEdit



chapel (not comparable)

  1. (Wales) Describing a person who attends a nonconformist chapel.
    The village butcher is chapel.


chapel (third-person singular simple present chapels, present participle chapelling, simple past and past participle chapelled)

  1. (nautical, transitive) To cause (a ship taken aback in a light breeze) to turn or make a circuit so as to recover, without bracing the yards, the same tack on which she had been sailing.
  2. (obsolete, transitive) To deposit or inter in a chapel; to enshrine.
    (Can we find and add a quotation of Beaumont and Fletcher to this entry?)


Old FrenchEdit


From Vulgar Latin *cappellus, diminutive of Late Latin cappa.


chapel m (oblique plural chapeaus or chapeax or chapiaus or chapiax or chapels, nominative singular chapeaus or chapeax or chapiaus or chapiax or chapels, nominative plural chapel)

  1. hat (item of clothing used to cover the head)

Related termsEdit





  1. aspirate mutation of capel