chatelaine

chatelaine

[shat-l-eyn; French shahtuh-len]
noun, plural chatelaines [shat-l-eynz; French shahtuh-len] .
1.
the mistress of a castle.
2.
the mistress of an elegant or fashionable household.
3.
a hooklike clasp or a chain for suspending keys, trinkets, scissors, a watch, etc., worn at the waist by women.
4.
a woman's lapel ornament resembling this.

Origin:
1835–45; < French châtelaine. See chatelain

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Collins
World English Dictionary
chatelaine (ˈʃætəˌleɪn, French ʃɑtlɛn)
 
n
1.  (esp formerly) the mistress of a castle or fashionable household
2.  a chain or clasp worn at the waist by women in the 16th to the 19th centuries, with handkerchief, keys, etc, attached
3.  a decorative pendant worn on the lapel

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

chatelaine
1845, from Fr. châtelaine (fem. of châtelain) "a female castellan; mistress of a castle or country house."
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Encyclopedia Britannica
Encyclopedia

chatelaine

ornament, used by both men and women and usually fastened to belt or pocket, with chains bearing hooks on which to hang small articles such as watches, keys, seals, writing tablets, scissors, and purses. The word chatelaine is derived from a word meaning the keeper of a castle, thus the person entrusted with the keys. During the 18th century, chatelaines were particularly popular. The finest were made of gold; cheaper ones of a yellow alloy were named pinchbeck, after the inventor of the material. Some chatelaines were decorated with repousse or enamel and depicted biblical, mythological, or genre scenes. Others were inlaid with agate, and, toward the end of the 18th century, some were adorned with cameos in a pseudoclassical style. The most luxurious were decorated with precious gems, especially diamonds. A fine example of a diamond, gold, and silver chatelaine is that made in 1767 by the French jeweler Jean-Francois Fistaine for Queen Caroline Mathilda of Denmark.

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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