Definition from Wiktionary, the free dictionary
Jump to navigation Jump to search


English Wikipedia has an article on:

Alternative forms[edit]


From Middle English chapiter, from Old French chapitre, from Latin capitulum (a chapter of a book, in Medieval Latin also a synod or council), diminutive of caput (a head); see capital, capitulum, and chapiter, which are doublets of chapter.



chapter (plural chapters)

  1. (authorship) One of the main sections into which the text of a book is divided.
    Detective novel writers try to keep up the suspense until the last chapter.
    • 1907 August, Robert W[illiam] Chambers, chapter VIII, in The Younger Set, New York, N.Y.: D. Appleton & Company, OCLC 24962326:
      At her invitation he outlined for her the succeeding chapters with terse military accuracy ; and what she liked best and best understood was avoidance of that false modesty which condescends, turning technicality into pabulum.
  2. Certain ecclesiastical bodies (under canon law)
    1. An assembly of monks, prebendaries and/or other clergymen connected with a cathedral, conventual or collegiate church, or of a diocese, usually presided over by the dean.
    2. A community of canons or canonesses.
    3. A bishop's council.
  3. A section of a social body.
    1. An administrative division of an organization, usually local to a specific area.
    2. An organized branch of some society or fraternity, such as the Freemasons.
      • 1862, The Freemasons' Monthly Magazine
        If the By-Law which admits honorary members is silent upon their rights, they may perhaps be determined by a consideration of which of these classes was intended by the Chapter in admitting them
  4. A meeting of certain organized societies or orders.
  5. A chapter house.
    1. (Can we find and add a quotation of Burrill to this entry?)
  6. A sequence (of events), especially when presumed related and likely to continue.
    • 1866, Wilkie Collins, Armadale, Book the Last, Chapter I,
      "You know that Mr. Armadale is alive," pursued the doctor, "and you know that he is coming back to England. Why do you continue to wear your widow's dress?" ¶ She answered him without an instant's hesitation, steadily going on with her work. ¶ "Because I am of a sanguine disposition, like you. I mean to trust to the chapter of accidents to the very last. Mr. Armadale may die yet, on his way home."
    • 1911, Bram Stoker, chapter 26, in The Lair of the White Worm:
      [] she determined to go on slowly towards Castra Regis, and trust to the chapter of accidents to pick up the trail again.
  7. A decretal epistle.
    (Can we find and add a quotation of Ayliffe to this entry?)
  8. (obsolete) A location or compartment.


Derived terms[edit]


  • Cebuano: tsapter

Related terms[edit]


The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout § Translations.

See also[edit]

Further reading[edit]


chapter (third-person singular simple present chapters, present participle chaptering, simple past and past participle chaptered)

  1. To divide into chapters.
  2. To put into a chapter.
  3. (military, with "out") To use administrative procedure to remove someone.
    • 2001, John Palmer Hawkins, Army of Hope, Army of Alienation: Culture and Contradiction in the American Army Communities of Cold War Germany[1], page 117:
      If you're a single parent [soldier] and you can't find someone to take care of your children, they will chapter you out [administrative elimination from the service]. And yet if you use someone not certified, they get mad.
    • 2006, Thomas R. Schombert, Diaries of a Soldier: Nightmares from Within[2], page 100:
      "He also wanted me to give you a message. He said that if you don't get your shit ready for this deployment, then he will chapter you out of his freakin' army."
  4. (transitive) To take to task.