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chatelaine

[shat-l-eyn; French shahtuh-len] /ˈʃæt lˌeɪn; French ʃɑtəˈlɛn/
noun, plural chatelaines
[shat-l-eynz; French shahtuh-len] /ˈʃæt lˌeɪnz; French ʃɑtəˈlɛn/ (Show IPA)
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
1835-1845
1835-45; < French châtelaine. See chatelain
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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British Dictionary definitions for chatelaine

chatelaine

/ˈʃætəˌleɪn; French ʃɑtlɛn/
noun
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 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin and History for chatelaine
n.

1845, from French châtelaine "a female castellan; wife of a castellan; mistress of a castle or country house;" fem. of châtelain, from Old French chastelain "owner and lord of a castle, castellan, nobleman," from chastel (see chateau). In fashion, as a type of ornamental belt, from 1851; supposed to resemble a chain of keys.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Encyclopedia Article for 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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