from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. Any of various officials of high rank, especially:
  • n. A secretary to a monarch or noble.
  • n. Chiefly British The chief secretary of an embassy.
  • n. The chief minister of state in some European countries.
  • n. The president of certain American universities.
  • n. Chiefly British The honorary or titular head of a university.
  • n. Law The presiding judge of a court of chancery or equity in some states of the United States.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A judicial court of chancery, which in England and in the United States is distinctively a court with equity jurisdiction.
  • n. Head of a chancery.
  • n. An important notary; a person in charge of some area of government, often justice or finance.
  • n. The head of a university, sometimes purely ceremonial.
  • n. The head of parliamentary government in some German speaking countries.
  • n. A record keeper for a diocese or equivalent religious area.
  • n. Foreman of a jury.
  • n. Chancellor of the Exchequer.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A judicial court of chancery, which in England and in the United States is distinctively a court with equity jurisdiction.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. Originally, under the later Roman emperors, a doorkeeper or usher, who stood at the latticed railing inclosing the judgment-seat, to keep off the crowd and to introduce such persons as were entitled to pass inside.
  • n. Hence A secretary; a notary.
  • n. In Great Britain:
  • n. The highest judicial officer of the crown, law adviser of the ministry, and keeper of the great seal: more fully designated lord high chancellor.
  • n. An officer, officially styled chancellor of the duchy of Lancaster, who presides in person or by deputy over the courts of law and equity in the duchy of Lancaster. He is usually a cabinet minister, and seldom a lawyer. The finance minister of the British government, more fully styled chancellor of the exchequer.
  • n. In the jury system of Scotland, the preses or foreman of a jury, who announces the verdict when it is a verbal one, and who, when it is in writing, hands it in and indorses it, in the name of the jury, along with the clerk of the court.
  • n. In France:
  • n. The chief officer of the crown, charged with the custody of the great seal, the administration of justice, and the duty of presiding over the councils of the king. The office was abolished in 1790, revived in name by Napoleon I., and finally abolished in 1848.
  • n. The chief officer of the palace of a queen or prince
  • n. A secretary, especially of an embassy or a consulate.
  • n. In the new German empire, the president of the Federal Council, who is also charged with the supreme direction, under the emperor, of all imperial affairs.
  • n. The chief officer, next to the honorary head, of a military or honorable order, who guards its seal, administers its property, and preserves its records: as, the chancellor of the Order of the Garter.
  • n. Eccles.:
  • n. An officer learned in canon law, who acts as vicar-general to a bishop, holds his courts, and directs and advises him in all matters of ecclesiastical law, and is the keeper of his seals. More fully styled chancellor of a bishop or of a diocese.
  • n. An officer belonging to a cathedral, who arranges the celebration of religious services, hears lessons, lectures in theology, writes letters of the chapter, applies the seal, keeps the books, etc.
  • n. The titular head of a university, from whom all degrees are supposed to emanate.
  • n. In Delaware, New Jersey, and some others of the United States, a judge of the Court of Chancery or Equity. In Alabama, Mississippi, and Tennessee there are district chancellors chosen by popular vote.
  • n. In Scripture, a master of the decrees, or president of the council. Ezra iv. 8.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. the honorary or titular head of a university
  • n. the person who is head of state (in several countries)
  • n. the British cabinet minister responsible for finance


Middle English chaunceler, from Old French chancelier, from Late Latin cancellārius, doorkeeper, from Latin cancellī, bars, latticework; see cancel.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
Middle English chaunceler, from Old French chancelier, from Late Latin cancellarius, a director of chancery, from Latin cancelli lattices ("crossbars, which surrounded the seat of judgment"). See chancel. (Wiktionary)



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