a seat, especially for one person, usually having four legs for support and a rest for the back and often having rests for the arms.
something that serves as a chair or supports like a chair: The two men clasped hands to make a chair for their injured companion.
a seat of office or authority.
a position of authority, as of a judge, professor, etc.
the person occupying a seat of office, especially the chairperson of a meeting: The speaker addressed the chair.
(in an orchestra) the position of a player, assigned by rank; desk: first clarinet chair.
the chair, Informal. electric chair.
(in reinforced-concrete construction) a device for maintaining the position of reinforcing rods or strands during the pouring operation.
a glassmaker's bench having extended arms on which a blowpipe is rolled in shaping glass.
British Railroads. a metal block for supporting a rail and securing it to a crosstie or the like.
verb (used with object)
to place or seat in a chair.
to install in office.
to preside over; act as chairperson of: to chair a committee.
British. to carry (a hero or victor) aloft in triumph.
verb (used without object)
to preside over a meeting, committee, etc.
get the chair, to be sentenced to die in the electric chair.
take the chair,
to begin or open a meeting.
to preside at a meeting; act as chairperson.

1250–1300; Middle English chaiere < Old French < Latin cathedra; see cathedra

chairless, adjective
unchair, verb (used with object)

chair, chairman, chairperson, chairwoman (see usage note at chairperson).

5. See chairperson. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
chair (tʃɛə)
1.  a seat with a back on which one person sits, typically having four legs and often having arms
2.  an official position of authority: a chair on the board of directors
3.  the person chairing a debate or meeting: the speaker addressed the chair
4.  a professorship: the chair of German
5.  railways an iron or steel cradle bolted to a sleeper in which the rail sits and is locked in position
6.  short for sedan chair
7.  in the chair chairing a debate or meeting
8.  take the chair to preside as chairman for a meeting, etc
9.  the chair an informal name for electric chair
10.  to preside over (a meeting)
11.  (Brit) to carry aloft in a sitting position after a triumph or great achievement
12.  to provide with a chair of office
13.  to install in a chair
[C13: from Old French chaiere, from Latin cathedra, from Greek kathedra, from kata- down + hedra seat; compare cathedral]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Word Origin & History

early 13c., from O.Fr. chaire, from L. cathedra "seat" (see cathedral). Figurative sense of "authority" was in M.E., of bishops and professors. Meaning "office of a professor" (1816) is extended from the seat from which a professor lectures (mid-15c.). Meaning "seat of
a person presiding at meeting" is from 1640s. Chairman is first attested 1650s; chairwoman 1690s; chairperson 1971.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Example sentences for chairs
Refrain from sitting on high chairs and sleeping on luxurious, soft beds.
White pine is used for the heavy seminar table, benches, and chairs.
Student chairs are carved with a design found on household utensils.
He also chairs the consultative council for national security.
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