Borrowed from French châtelaine, the feminine form of châtelain (“castle-keeper, castellan; one living in a castle”), from Medieval Latin castellanus (“occupants of a castle”), from castellum (“castle, fort”) (diminutive of castrum (“castle, fort”), from Proto-Indo-European *ḱes- (“to cut off, separate”)) + -ānus (“suffix meaning ‘of or pertaining to’”).
- (Received Pronunciation) IPA(key): /ˈʃætəleɪn/
- (General American) IPA(key): /ˈʃætl̩ˌeɪn/, [-ɾl̩-]
- Hyphenation: cha‧te‧laine
chatelaine (plural chatelaines)
- (dated) The mistress of a castle or large household. [from mid 19th c.]
- Antonym: chatelain
- 1831, Thomas Colley Grattan, chapter VIII, in The Heiress of Bruges; a Tale of the Year Sixteen Hundred. [...] In Three Volumes, volume I, 2nd edition, London: Henry Colburn and Richard Bentley, […], OCLC 4840982, page 213:
- Gerard returned safely to his native land, and in the fantastic spirit of the times, he approached his own castle disguised as a pilgrim, intending to himself and his Chatelaine, the delight of a romantic surprise. […] He accordingly repaired, in the silent hour of midnight, when the castle was wrapped in sleep, to the well-remembered chamber of the Chatelaine. She was not alone. A handsome young page supplied the place of her long-absent lord. In the excess of his rage, Gerard killed his wife on the spot, but reserved the page for a more lingering revenge.
- 1843 January, “Art. IV.—The City of the Magyar. By Miss [Julia] Pardoe. London: Virtue. 1841. 2. The Hungarian Castle. By Miss Pardoe. London: Boone.”, in The Church of England Quarterly Review, volume XIII, London: William Edward Painter, […], OCLC 35994428, page 74:
- [A] detachment of the Imperial army, under Francis Wesselény, was ordered to attack the castle. Having made the most elaborate preparations, he summoned the garrison to surrender; the refusal was haughty and uncompromising, and, to the surprise of Wesselény, dictated by the Chatelaine herself, who personally conducted its defence. To be foiled by a woman, little suited his proud nature; but all efforts to effect a breach in the massive walls of the stronghold were ineffectual, and every attack gallantly repulsed.
- 1943, Ayn Rand, chapter 1, in The Fountainhead, Indianapolis, Ind.: Bobbs-Merrill Company, OCLC 288347, part 2 (Ellsworth M. Toohey), page 206; republished as chapter 1, in The Fountainhead (New American Library), New York, N.Y.: Berkley Books, September 2016, →ISBN:
- Cars passed her on the road; the people of the quarry town knew her and bowed to her; she was considered the chatelaine of the countryside, as her mother had been long ago.
- (historical) A chain or clasp worn at the waist by women with handkerchief, keys, etc., attached, supposed to resemble the chain of keys once worn by medieval chatelaines.
- 1854 July, Mrs. Pullan, “Embroidered Chatelaine”, in Peterson’s Magazine, volume XXVI, number 1, Philadelphia, Pa.: Charles J[acobs] Peterson, OCLC 1065759946, page 54:
- This elegant little appendage to the dress, large enough to contain a handkerchief and purse, is deserving of being as generally adopted in the United States as it has recently been in Paris. […] Both sides of the Chatelaine are embroidered alike. […] The hook attaches this Chatelaine to the wristband.
- 1869 September, “Chitchat on Fashions for September”, in Sarah J[osepha] Hale and Louis A[ntoine] Godey, editors, Godey’s Lady’s Book and Magazine, volume LXXIX, number 471, Philadelphia, Pa.: Published by Louis A. Godey, […], OCLC 56090797, page 280, column 1:
- The latest fashion is to wear watches suspended from the chatelaine. The chatelaine is short, and ornamented with charms.
- 1874 March, “Chitchat on Fashions for March”, in Sarah J[osepha] Hale and Louis A[ntoine] Godey, editors, Godey’s Lady’s Book and Magazine, volume LXXXVIII, number 525, Philadelphia, Pa.: Published by Louis A. Godey, […], OCLC 56090797, page 293, column 1:
- If we examine the relics of antique chatelaines in the Hotel Cluny and other museums, we observe serviceable articles, as scissors, étui, pomander-box (for sudden illness), and keys that would break the delicate fingers of a modern belle to handle. For the chatelaine was then responsible for the health and welfare of her people in times of war and of peace; her duties were as varied as they were unceasing.
- 1876 August, Blanche Murphy, “The Age of Knickknacks”, in Lippincott’s Magazine of Popular Literature and Science, volume XVIII, Philadelphia, Pa.: J. B. Lippincott and Co., OCLC 7405516, page 199:
- Châtelaines are generally lovely things, but for our part we can never look upon them without feeling them to be more or less of a reproach to our modern want of thrift.
- 1970, John Glassco, chapter 5, in Memoirs of Montparnasse, Toronto, Ont.; New York, N.Y.: Oxford University Press, →ISBN; republished as Memoirs of Montparnasse (New York Review Books Classics), New York, N.Y.: New York Review Books, 2007, →ISBN, page 33:
- The famous novelist was dressed in a badly fitting sleazy purple dress and a shapeless Napoleonic hat, with gloves and a long chatelaine; but the costume only heightened her air of distinction.
- A similar thing in miniature attached to a watchchain.
- 1847, “Chatelaines for Gentlemen”, in Punch, or The London Charivari, volume XVI (New Library Series), number 405, London: Punch Office, […], and Bradbury, Evans, & Co., […], OCLC 732224722, page 153, column 1:
- A French fashion is now busy investing the large body of French gentlemen with Chatelaines. These do not hang, as with English ladies, from the waist, but from the waistcoat pocket. They are generally attached to the watch—or, supposing the gentleman has no such useful appendage for killing time, then they are fastened to the waistcoat-button, and allowed to dangle gracefully therefrom.
- 1874, “Artizans’ Report upon the Vienna Exhibition”, in The Practical Magazine: An Illustrated Cyclopædia of Industrial News, Inventions and Improvements, Collected from Foreign and British Sources, [...], volume 3, number 18, London: Published for the proprietary by Simpkin, Marshall and Co., […]; W. P. Bennett & Co., […], OCLC 762419611, page 463, column 1:
- The Swiss jewellery chiefly consisted of châtelaines or watch pendants, having no very distinct style or character, but embracing examples of all styles, both ancient and modern; […] One of the chief attractions in the collection were the examples of châtelaines attached to watch cases, ornamented in a similar style.