A term with different technical meanings in different cultures and religious traditions. Usually a consecrated space that is smaller or subordinate to a house of worship. For example, cathedral may have a chapel - likewise, a non-sectarian institution such as a hospital, school or military base may have one.

Chap"el (?), n. [OF. chapele, F. chapelle, fr. LL. capella, orig., a short cloak, hood, or cowl; later, a reliquary, sacred vessel, chapel; dim. of cappa, capa, cloak, cape, cope; also, a covering for the head. The chapel where St. Martin's cloak was preserved as a precious relic, itself came to be called capella, whence the name was applied to similar paces of worship, and the guardian of this cloak was called capellanus, or chaplain. See Cap, and cf. Chaplain., Chaplet.]


A subordinate place of worship

; as, (a)

a small church, often a private foundation, as for a memorial

; (b)

a small building attached to a church

; (c)

a room or recess in a church, containing an altar.

⇒ In Catholic churches, and also in cathedrals and abbey churches, chapels are usually annexed in the recesses on the sides of the aisles.



A place of worship not connected with a church; as, the chapel of a palace, hospital, or prison.


In England, a place of worship used by dissenters from the Established Church; a meetinghouse.


A choir of singers, or an orchastra, attached to the court of a prince or nobleman.

5. Print. (a)

A printing office, said to be so called because printing was first carried on in England in a chapel near Westminster Abbey.


An association of workmen in a printing office.

Chapel of ease. (a) A chapel or dependent church built for the ease or a accommodation of an increasing parish, or for parishioners who live at a distance from the principal church. (b) A privy. Law -- Chapel master, a director of music in a chapel; the director of a court or orchestra. -- To build a chapel Naut., to chapel a ship. See Chapel, v. t., 2. -- To hold a chapel, to have a meeting of the men employed in a printing office, for the purpose of considering questions affecting their interests.


© Webster 1913.

Chap"el (?), v. t.


To deposit or inter in a chapel; to enshrine.


Beau. & Fl.

2. Naut.

To cause (a ship taken aback in a light breeze) so to turn or make a circuit as to recover, without bracing the yards, the same tack on which she had been sailing.


© Webster 1913.

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