Meaning of chancellor in English:


Pronunciation /ˈtʃɑːns(ə)lə/

See synonyms for chancellor on

Translate chancellor into Spanish


  • 1A senior state or legal official.

    ‘the Lord chancellor and the judges will consider the application’
    • ‘A number of the chancellor's senior party allies - including some influential state premiers - have begun to hint that he should consider stepping down after seven years in power.’
    • ‘In the 14th century the chancellor entered the legal system when he began to hear appeals from subjects unable to obtain justice from the common law courts.’
    • ‘At Tweed, union officials now wait in line to see the chancellor, with everyone else.’
    • ‘But in legal terms it will remain controversial that a chancellor put a confidence vote to parliament without being under intense political pressure to do so.’
    • ‘Two deputies have already announced they will make legal appeals to challenge the chancellor's decision to hold the no-confidence vote.’
    • ‘On another occasion, he accepted an invitation to Turkey from a regional governor astonished to hear the chancellor's brother was out of work and could not afford a holiday.’
    • ‘An assistant vice chancellor for public affairs said the dispute was not a free speech issue.’
    • ‘The former chancellor of the exchequer looms into the room, clutching his camera.’
    • ‘From 1568 he was chancellor of the duchy of Lancaster.’
    • ‘The chancellor's office has not expressed interest in resuming the discussion of these matters that occurred in earlier years.’
    • ‘"No word from me on these secret talks, " the chancellor said.’
    • ‘The chancellor said: "We understand that these are very anxious and troubling times."’
    • ‘But some experts were quick to accuse the chancellor of shameless electioneering.’
    • ‘Conservative co-chairman Liam Fox said a Conservative chancellor would more tightly control government spending.’
    • ‘The chancellor announced a reduction in the number of standards agencies from 35 to nine.’
    • ‘Rebell and several other plaintiff lawyers became de facto chancellors of a separate education system - some observers even unofficially called them the Board of Special Ed.’
    • ‘Fifteen years on, and the honourable member is a chancellor presiding over dwindling dole queues and a booming economy.’
    • ‘Its abolishment has been announced by two Chancellors, but never actually enacted.’
    • ‘Consequently, they ask Annakin to spy on the Chancellor, but the Chancellor has plans of his own for the young Jedi.’
    • ‘Governors and Chancellors have to be careful of saying anything that might move the markets.’
    1. 1.1
      ‘the Chancellor's Budget speech’
      • ‘Our Chancellor and First Minister are not of a type.’
      • ‘Though Brown would not challenge Smith personally for the leadership, as the new shadow chancellor he challenged his policy.’
      • ‘Crisis teams were immediately formed in the Foreign Ministry and the chancellor's office.’
      • ‘From the middle of 1978 to the beginning of 1981 he worked in the chancellor's office.’
      • ‘The British chancellor seems to stand a good chance of fulfilling this ambition.’
      • ‘What level of council tax rises did the Conservative chancellor expect when he set his last Budget in 1997?’
      • ‘The prime minister and his chancellor have got to resolve their collective political position.’
      • ‘Back in November the chancellor's central forecast for growth in 2003 was 2.75 %.’
      • ‘Separately, the chancellor announced a freeze on rates of corporation tax and capital gains tax.’
      • ‘The news came as the chancellor announced his twice yearly pre-Budget report.’
      • ‘In 10 Downing Street, all eyes are on the Chancellor's speech next week.’
      • ‘A selected audience duly provided accompaniment to the chancellor's speech with whistling and catcalls.’
      • ‘Next day the papers were so full of the chancellor's speech that nobody mentioned Railtrack.’
      • ‘Months of courting the chancellor appear to have paid off for him, as Mr Brown is understood to have demanded he stay in his job.’
      • ‘And now look - the new shadow chancellor was born in the 1970s!’
      • ‘While Treasury officials say the chancellor will not update his economic forecast until the pre-budget report in November, he is preparing the ground to revise his predictions downwards.’
      • ‘Treasury officials and allies of the chancellor have been carefully excluded from the group and will have no input.’
      • ‘However, when Gordon Brown made his high profile visit to China, the chancellor's official visits included a trip to the Shanghai branch of DIY superstore B&Q.’
      • ‘The report draws on meetings with senior government officials, including the Prime Minister, the chancellor, and the deputy prime minister.’
      • ‘With several cabinet ministers having said Brown is the obvious choice, it now looks unlikely that any senior MP will challenge the chancellor.’
    2. 1.2The head of the government in some European countries, such as Germany.
      ‘It provided West Germany's first three Chancellors: Adenauer, Erhard, and Kiesinger.’
      • ‘Adolf Hitler was the Chancellor and Fuhrher of Germany.’
      • ‘After all, nobody gets worked up when German Chancellors commemorate the thousands of ordinary soldiers who died for their motherland during the war.’
      • ‘German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder wraps up a tour of Africa.’
      • ‘German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder and French President Jacques Chirac were in Moscow in the first week of April.’
      • ‘Fischer, who doubles as German vice chancellor, is in Japan on a two-day official visit from Monday.’
      • ‘Former German chancellor Helmut Kohl is out of office.’
      • ‘When Hitler was appointed chancellor in January 1933, Klemperer's world began to unravel.’
      • ‘Afterwards, the Austrian chancellor said that I broke all the taboos.’
      • ‘The Austrian chancellor also had words of encouragement.’
      • ‘However, the Bundestag could also decide to elect a new chancellor, either Schroeder or someone else.’
      • ‘Hitler had created a one party state within months of being appointed chancellor.’
      • ‘"The chancellor candidate aroused the impression that she wanted to bring about political change."’
      • ‘The recently elected chancellor, Angela Merkel, was somewhat more reserved.’
      • ‘Accordingly, Hitler was made Germany's fifteenth post war Chancellor in January 1933.’
      • ‘They accused the chancellor of isolating Germany internationally and eroding the country's diplomatic room for manoeuvre.’
      • ‘Angela Merkel was sworn in today as the country's first female chancellor.’
      • ‘He talks a lot about what's been achieved, the historical profile of this Chancellor Schröder, the chancellor of reform and peace.’
      • ‘The chancellor has said repeatedly that her government will be judged by its efforts to tackle Germany's 11% jobless rate.’
      • ‘It's since been pointed out that the last Soviet tanks left Austria two years before Arnie was born, and all the chancellors who governed in his youth were conservatives.’
    3. 1.3British The honorary head of a university.
      ‘He also faxed a message to the university chancellor and education minister.’
      • ‘In Edinburgh's case, rectors come second in the formal hierarchy of the university, after the chancellor but before the principal.’
      • ‘Dorothy will be presented with her honorary degree by the university's chancellor Lord Chris Patten of Barnes.’
      • ‘As the titular chancellor of all government-funded universities, Tung has the final say - symbolically, at least - over all academic matters.’
      • ‘Tonight's ceremony will be attended by the chancellors of the universities, the Mayor of Salford and the Lord Mayor of Manchester.’
      • ‘Mr Patten's former college, Balliol, has produced a number of the university's chancellors.’
      • ‘The third son of Henry, Lord Scrope of Masham, Scrope was chancellor of Cambridge University in 1378 and a doctor of laws.’
      • ‘In all other universities, the chancellor is the state's governor.’
      • ‘In 1998, she was made professor of Theatre Arts at Oxford and she is the chancellor of Stirling University.’
      • ‘Guests at the graduation ceremony included Lord Taylor of Blackburn, the Mayor and Mayoress of Blackburn and University chancellors.’
      • ‘The award was presented by Prince Philip, chancellor of the university, at a special ceremony in Cambridge.’
      • ‘Cricket legend Imran Khan today told of his immense pride at being asked to be the new chancellor of Bradford University.’
      • ‘He became chancellor of Cambridge University in 1908.’
      • ‘In her role as chancellor of the university, Ms Ford presented honorary degrees to culture supremo Felicity Goodey and award-winning playwright Alan Ayckbourn.’
      • ‘The university's chancellor has already visited Bradford to meet them.’
      • ‘After Cromwell's downfall, Gardiner was appointed to replace him as chancellor of the university.’
      • ‘The chancellor's first official engagement at York was in September, when he opened a learning centre for the university's 600 manual and craft staff.’
      • ‘The chancellor's official duty is to confer degrees upon graduands at convocation.’
      • ‘As chancellor, Dame Janet will be the official figurehead of the university, presiding over degree ceremonies and taking a leading role in other ceremonial events.’
      • ‘In Nottingham, it needs nine days for the chancellor to personally hand all diplomas to students.’
      head teacher, head, headmaster, headmistress, director
    4. 1.4US The president or chief administrative officer of a university.
      ‘The new academic standards are part of a series of NCAA reforms championed by Division I university presidents and chancellors.’
      • ‘The staff conveyed these concerns to the current chancellor after he took office in January 2000.’
      • ‘The remainder of the $6 million was committed by the presidents and chancellors of the participating universities, Schell said.’
      • ‘Nowhere is this direction more obvious than in campus diversity plans, usually issued with some fanfare by chancellors and presidents, then promptly forgotten and ignored by all.’
      • ‘Another recommendation calls for the creation of a new system-level office under the chancellor to oversee programs targeted at the problem.’
      • ‘The Budget Committee never interacts directly with deans, and it limits its contact with administrators to the chancellor and his or her senior deputies.’
      • ‘‘Some of our courses are taught by community college presidents and chancellors,’ McPhail notes.’
      • ‘We're working on leadership development for presidents and chancellors.’
      • ‘And these firms are actively recruited by state officials and university chancellors who believe that a biotech boom could turn Wisconsin or Iowa into a version of Silicon Valley.’
      • ‘In 1968, he was appointed vice chancellor for student affairs.’
      • ‘Williams is currently deputy chancellor and a tenured professor of English and comparative literature.’
      • ‘"The Transitions program is specially designed to increase diversity on campus, " deputy chancellor Mike Middleton says.’
      • ‘Fortunately, the current chancellor has made some progress on this score.’
      • ‘Trustees complained the chancellor was too defensive about questions they asked before voting on issues at board meetings.’
      • ‘Its president and provost, working through the campus chancellors and college deans, demonstrate a formidable commitment to make the faculty employment environment family friendly.’
      • ‘Herbert, who began the job this past August, was the former chancellor of the state university system of Florida from 1998 to 2000.’
      • ‘He resigned and now there are words he plans to become the chancellor at Louisiana State University.’
      • ‘Enhanced autonomy for universities and new powers for university chancellors will lead to the raising of tuition fees or the introduction of enrolment fees.’
      • ‘He is the founder and the chancellor of Liberty University and the founder of the Moral Majority Coalition.’
      • ‘He is also the chancellor of the University of Waterloo.’
      administrator, ruler, chief, leader, principal, head
    5. 1.5A bishop's law officer.
      ‘Until the dissolution of the monasteries, Oxford came within the diocese of Lincoln, with the chancellor appointed by the bishop.’
      • ‘He is qualified for appointment as chancellor of the diocese and has satisfied the bishop that he is a communicant.’
    6. 1.6US The presiding judge of a chancery court.
      ‘Yet in following the common law, the chancellor necessarily knew the common law and the common lawyers eventually came to know very well the equitable principles being grafted upon their own law.’
      • ‘He started, referring to the chancellor of the court.’
      • ‘The controller general tried to put an end to the dispute by having the chancellor overrule the court and undo its modifications.’
      • ‘The chancellor appears before the court, reading aloud the words printed on a banknote.’
      • ‘In Ireland a chancellor presided over a separate court of equity which mirrored the development of the English equity system.’
      • ‘His presence through the walls fuels the easily aroused paranoia of the chancellor's court - and not without reason.’
      • ‘If the matter is not resolved at that stage, a statement of charges is given and a hearing held before a hearing officer designated by the chancellor.’
      • ‘From 1954 to 1957 he was Chancellor of the Diocese of Ripon.’
      • ‘He's now the chancellor of the Diocese of Sale.’
      • ‘As came entirely naturally to him, the Bishop tapped as his resource person the chancellor of the diocesan marriage tribunal.’
      • ‘He advised me to do what many others have done: to study secular law with the thought of, perhaps, eventually serving as a diocesan chancellor.’
      • ‘The teacher alerted the diocesan chancellor, Fr Alec Stenson, who referred him to Bishop O'Mahony.’
      head of government, prime minister, PM, president, chief minister, chancellor
    7. 1.7(in the UK) an officer of an order of knighthood who seals commissions.
      ‘In 1911 he was created viscount and he became lord chancellor in 1912.’
      • ‘Havers was an adult by the time his father became lord chancellor.’
      • ‘Secondly, the king's lord chancellor was holding a masquerade about the traits of the perfect woman.’
      • ‘Maybe you don't understand, but I'm the king's chancellor.’
      • ‘Yet when the dust finally settled, the new bishop of St Andrews was the king's chancellor.’


Late Old English from Old French cancelier, from late Latin cancellarius ‘porter, secretary’ (originally a court official stationed at the grating separating public from judges), from cancelli ‘crossbars’.