[sha-toh; French shah-toh]
noun, plural châteaux [sha-tohz; French shah-toh] , châteaus.
(in France) a castle or fortress.
a stately residence imitating a distinctively French castle.
a country estate, especially a fine one, in France or elsewhere on the Continent.
(often initial capital letter) a winegrower's estate, especially in the Bordeaux region of France: often used as part of the name of a wine.
Also, chateau.

1730–40; < FrenchLatin castellum castellum Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
chateau or château (ˈʃætəʊ, French ʃɑto, ˈʃætəʊ, French ʃɑto)
n , pl -teaux, -teaus
1.  a country house, castle, or manor house, esp in France
2.  (in Quebec) the residence of a seigneur or (formerly) a governor
3.  (in the name of a wine) estate or vineyard
[C18: from French, from Old French chastel, from Latin castellum fortress, castle]
château or château (ˈʃætəʊ, French ʃɑto, ˈʃætəʊ, French ʃɑto, -təʊ, -təʊz, -to)
[C18: from French, from Old French chastel, from Latin castellum fortress, castle]

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

c.1739, from Fr. château (12c.), from O.Fr. chastel, from L. castellum "castle" (see castle).
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Encyclopedia Britannica


in France, during the 13th and 14th centuries, a castle, or structure arranged for defense rather than for residence. Later the term came to designate any seignorial residence and so, generally, a country house of any pretensions.

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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Example sentences
We will proceed to the château, and study matters on the spot.
Fire stops them one hundred yards short of the château.
Every grand château and vintage is represented with sycophantic prices.
It's a bizarre account of a chateau whose inhabitants transform into one
  another when we're not looking.
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