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See also: Chapel and chapèl


Bothwell Chapel at McKendree University (Illinois, USA)
The Baroque chapel of the Basilica of Saint Anthony of Padua from Veneto (Italy)


From Middle English chapele, chapel, from Old French chapele, from Late Latin cappella (little cloak; chapel), diminutive of cappa (cloak, cape).[1] Doublet of capelle.

(printing office): Said to be because printing was first carried on in England in a chapel near Westminster Abbey.



chapel (plural chapels)

  1. (especially Christianity) A place of worship, smaller than or subordinate to a church.
  2. A place of worship in another building or within a civil institution such as a larger church, airport, prison, monastery, school, etc.; often primarily for private prayer.
  3. A funeral home, or a room in one for holding funeral services.
  4. (UK) A trade union branch in printing or journalism.
  5. A printing office.
  6. A choir of singers, or an orchestra, attached to the court of a prince or nobleman.

Derived terms[edit]



chapel (not comparable)

  1. (Wales) Describing a person who attends a nonconformist chapel.
    The village butcher is chapel.


chapel (third-person singular simple present chapels, present participle chapelling, simple past and past participle chapelled)

  1. (nautical, transitive) To cause (a ship taken aback in a light breeze) to turn or make a circuit so as to recover, without bracing the yards, the same tack on which she had been sailing.
  2. (obsolete, transitive) To deposit or inter in a chapel; to enshrine.


  1. ^ Diarmaid MacCulloch (2010) A History of Christianity, Penguin, page 313:
    Martin [of Tours] was said to have torn his military cloak in half to clothe a poor man, who was later revealed to him as Christ himself. The cut down “little cloak”, cappella in Latin, later became one of the most prized possessions of the Frankish barbarian rulers who succeeded Roman governors in Gaul, and the series of small churches or temporary structures which sheltered this much-venerated relic were named after it: capellae.


Middle English[edit]



  1. Alternative form of chapele

Old French[edit]


From Vulgar Latin *cappellus, diminutive of Late Latin cappa.


chapel m (oblique plural chapeaus or chapeax or chapiaus or chapiax or chapels, nominative singular chapeaus or chapeax or chapiaus or chapiax or chapels, nominative plural chapel)

  1. hat (item of clothing used to cover the head)

Related terms[edit]


  • Gallo: chapai
  • Middle French: chappeau
  • Norman: chape
  • Walloon: tchapea





  1. aspirate mutation of capel