chair rail

noun
a molding on an interior wall for preventing the backs of chairs from rubbing against plaster.

Origin:
1835–45

Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Dictionary.com's 21st Century Lexicon
Main Entry:  chair rail
Part of Speech:  n
Definition:  a piece of molding attached to a wall, usu. separating the dado or wainscot from the upper wall, which is used to prevent chair backs from damaging the wall
Example:  Installing a chair rail will create a dramatic addition to any room.
Dictionary.com's 21st Century Lexicon
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Example sentences
The hall also contains a recessed-panel, green-painted wainscot with a pedestal
  chair rail.
The entrance hall has a molded chair rail and wainscotting.
Paint the existing chair rail to match the frames of the photographs.
The walls of the room are light in color above and darker below with a chair
  rail separating the colors.
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