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CHAP'LET, n. [Fr. chapelet.]

  1. A garland or wreath to be worn on the head; the circle of a crown.
  2. A string of beads used by Papists by which they count the number of their prayers. They are made sometimes of coral, wood, of diamonds, &c., and are called paternosters. The invention is ascribed to Peter the Hermit, who probably learnt it in the East, as the Orientals use a kind of chaplet, called a chain, rehearsing one of the perfections of God on each link, or head. The Great Mogul is said to have eighteen of these chains, all precious stones. The Turks also use a kind of chaplet in reciting their prayers. – Encyc.
  3. In architecture, a little molding, carved into round beads, pearls, olives or the like.
  4. In horsemanship, a chapelet, – which see.
  5. A tuft of feathers on a peacock's head. – Johnson.
  6. A small chapel or shrine. – Hammond.

CHAP'MAN, n. [plur. Chapmen. Sax. ceapman; D. koopman; G. kaufmann; Dan. kiöbmand. See Cheap.]

  1. A cheapener; one that offers as a purchaser. Their chapmen they betray. – Dryden.
  2. A seller; a market-man. – Shak.


Cleft; opened, as the surface or skin.


Cleaving, as the surface or skin.


Full of chaps; cleft.


the mouth or jaw. [See Chap.]

CHAPT, pp.


CHAP'TER, n. [Fr. chapitre; L. capitulum, a head; It. capitolo; Sp. capitulo; from L. caput, the head.]

  1. A division of a book or treatise; as, Genesis contains fifty chapters. Hence the phrase, To the end of the chapter, that is, throughout; to the end.
  2. In ecclesiastical polity, a society or community of clergymen, belonging to a cathedral or collegiate church. – Encyc.
  3. A place where delinquents receive discipline and correction. – Ayliffe.
  4. A decretal epistle. – Ayliffe.

CHAP'TER, v.t.

To tax; to correct. – Dryden.


A house where a chapter meets. – Bailey.

CHAP'TREL, n. [from chapiter.]

The capitals of pillars and pilasters, which support arches, commonly called imposts. – Moxon.

CHAR, n.1

A fish.

CHAR, n.2

In England, work done by the day; a single job or task. In New England, it is pronounced chore, – which see. I know not the origin of the word. In Sax. cerre, cyrr, signifies a time, a turn, occasion, from cerran, cyrran, to turn, or return.

CHAR, v.i.

To work at others' houses by the day, without being a hired servant; to do small jobs. – Bailey. Johnson.

CHAR, v.t.1

To perform a business. – May.

CHAR, v.t.2 [Russ. jaryu or charyu, to roast, or burn; or goryu, to burn, or be burnt; and with a prefix, sgarayu or sgorayu, to burn; Fr. charrée, ashes. Qu. Heb. Ch. Eth. חרר. Class Gr, No. 22, 23. This seems to be the root of L. carbo. See Chark.]

  1. To burn or reduce to coal or carbon; to reduce to charcoal, by expelling all volatile matter from wood. This is done by burning wood slowly under a covering of turf and earth.
  2. To expel all volatile matter from stone or earth by heat. The stone or earth charred from all foreign visible ingredient. – Kirwan.

CHAR'ACT, or CHAR'ECT, n. [See Character.]

An inscription. [No in use.] Skelton.

CHAR'AC-TER, n. [L. character; Fr. caractère; Sp. caracter; It. carattere; Gr. χαρακτηρ, from the verb χαρασσω, χαραττω, χαραξω, to scrape, cut, engrave.]

  1. A mark made by cutting or engraving, as on stone, metal or other hard material; hence, a mark or figure made with a pen or style, on paper, or other material used to contain writing; a letter or figure used to form words, and communicate ideas. Characters are: literal, as the letters of an alphabet; numeral, as the arithmetical figures; emblematical or symbolical, which express things or ideas; and abbreviations, as C. for centum, a hundred; lb. for libra, a pound; A. D. Anno Domini; &c.
  2. A mark or figure made by stamping or impression, as on coins.
  3. The manner of writing; the peculiar form of letters used by a particular person. You know the character to be your brother's. – Shak.
  4. The peculiar qualities, impressed by nature or habit on a person, which distinguish him from others; these constitute real character, and the qualities which he is supposed to possess, constitute his estimated character, or reputation. Hence we say, a character is not formed, when the person has not acquired stable and distinctive qualities.
  5. An account, description or representation of any thing, exhibiting its qualities and the circumstances attending it; as, to give a bad character to a town, or to a road.
  6. A person; as, the assembly consisted of various characters, eminent characters, and low characters; all the characters in the play appeared to advantage. The friendship of distinguished characters. – Roscoe.
  7. By way of eminence, distinguished or good qualities; those which are esteemed and respected; and those which are ascribed to a person in common estimation. We inquire whether a stranger is a man of character.
  8. Adventurous qualities impressed by office, or station; the qualities that, in public estimation, belong to a person in a particular station, as when we ask how a magistrate or commander supports his character.
  9. In natural history, the peculiar discriminating qualities or properties of animals, plants and minerals. These properties, when employed for the purpose of discriminating minerals, are called characters. – Cleaveland.
  10. Distinction of quality of any kind strongly marked; as a man is said to have no character, or a great deal of character.


  1. To engrave; to inscribe. – Milton. Shak.
  2. To describe; to distinguish by particular marks or traits. – Mitford.


Engraved; inscribed; distinguished by a particular character. – Mitford.


  1. The distinction of character. – Bp. Hall.
  2. A particular aspect or configuration of the heavens. – Encyc.

CHAR-AC-TER-IS'T-IC, or CHAR-ACT-ER-IS'TI-CAL, a. [Gr. χαρακτηριστικος, from χαρακτηρ.]

That constitutes the character; that marks the peculiar distinctive qualities of a person or thing; as, generosity is often a characteristic virtue of a brave man. It is followed by of; as, generosity is characteristic of true bravery. The characteristic triangle of a curve, in geometry, is a rectilinear right-angled triangle, whose hypotenuse makes a part of the curve, not sensibly different from a right line. – Encyc.


  1. That which constitutes a character; that which characterizes; that which distinguishes a person or thing from another. Invention is the characteristic of Homer. – Pope.
  2. In grammar, the principal letter of a word, which is preserved in most of its tenses, in its derivatives and compounds. The characteristic of a logarithm, is its index or exponent.


In a manner that distinguishes character.


The state or qualities of being characteristic.