Meaning of chapter in English:


Pronunciation /ˈtʃaptə/

See synonyms for chapter

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  • 1A main division of a book, typically with a number or title.

    ‘we will deal with this in chapter eleven’
    • ‘If the story evolves into a book, the chapters will have titles.’
    • ‘Rather than building up the connection behind the idea in the title, the ten chapters in this book dwell with secondary hypotheses whose arguments are haphazardly repeated.’
    • ‘The three main chapters of the book were first given in 2000 as part of a Columbia University lecture series on American culture.’
    • ‘Although this is a worthy project, one is immediately challenged by the tenor of the writing and even the titles of key chapters in the book.’
    • ‘The book's eleven chapters are divided into three thematic parts.’
    • ‘Remember all those articles, journals, chapters, and books you meant to read about knowledge management?’
    • ‘She instructed us to read the first five chapters in our text book and answer all accompanying problems.’
    • ‘Vernon assigned some very easy homework from the first chapter of our text book, and then we were dismissed.’
    • ‘The book consists of eleven chapters by a variety of authors.’
    • ‘The book contains 11 chapters, plus a prologue and epilogue, and an extensive suggested reading list.’
    • ‘The chapter reads more like a stand alone essay than a chapter in a book.’
    • ‘Indeed, an entire chapter in the book was titled The Theory of Evolution.’
    • ‘The last chapter of the book, titled ‘Personal Morality,’ is brief but important.’
    • ‘I found it in amongst the pages of the manuscript, between two chapters like a book mark.’
    • ‘Presented in a series of chapters that read like independent articles, rather than unified chapters, the book can feel disjointed at times.’
    • ‘Three chapters of this book directly address diversity, defined here as more than just race; diversity means individuality.’
    • ‘In his hunger to possess books he admired, one friend copied down, sentence by sentence into a notebook, entire chapters from a favourite book.’
    • ‘By way of an epilogue, the last chapter of the book discusses recent innovations in music.’
    • ‘The final six chapters deal with more technical issues.’
    • ‘If you're pressed for time, read the short first chapter.’
    section, division, part, portion, segment, component, bit
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    1. 1.1An Act of Parliament numbered as part of a session's proceedings.
      ‘Each volume contains the acts of the year arranged by chapter number.’
      • ‘The standard method of referencing an Act of Parliament is by its short title, which includes the year followed by the chapter number in brackets.’
    2. 1.2A section of a treaty.
      ‘a majority voted for the inclusion of the social chapter in the treaty’
      • ‘Labour is a trade union party so it was taken for granted it would fully implement the social chapter of the Maastricht Treaty.’
      • ‘The social chapter of the Maastricht treaty deserved support on its own merits.’
      • ‘The special minority chapters in these peace treaties contained what became known as the guarantee clause.’
      • ‘At Maastricht we won the opt-out which kept the pound and the opt-out from the social chapter, which labour threw away.’
      • ‘On Europe, he promised a referendum on the EU Constitution before next October and to pull out of the EU common fisheries policy and the social chapter.’
      section, division, part, portion, segment, component, bit
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  • 2A distinctive period in history or in a person's life.

    ‘the people are about to begin a new chapter in their history’
    • ‘They might be able to consign the civil war to a tragic chapter of history.’
    • ‘The story of Mexican lynching is not a footnote in history but rather a critical chapter in the history of Anglo western expansion and conquest.’
    • ‘Last year marked a new chapter in the history of information security.’
    • ‘The English rushed down from the ridge, losing their position and discipline. The Normans slaughtered them and so began one of the darkest chapters in English history.’
    • ‘They were truly ahead of their time, and one of the saddest chapters in wrestling history was the day they closed their doors forever.’
    • ‘My taxi driver shouted these stories over his shoulder as if they were history, sad chapters from Peru's violent past.’
    • ‘The years spent in Missouri were one of the bitterest chapters in Mormon history.’
    • ‘One of the saddest chapters in the history of industrial Rochdale has taken place with the assets of an engineering company going under the auctioneer's hammer.’
    • ‘This has the earmarks of the sort of backroom politicking that has marked some of the darkest chapters in American history.’
    • ‘‘This helps us fill in the missing chapters of Chippenham's history,’ he said.’
    • ‘What begins as a personal odyssey becomes a fascinating exploration of one of the darkest chapters in the history of modern Ireland.’
    • ‘A dawn flag-lowering ceremony, as the sun broke through on Tuesday morning, formally brought a chapter in Irish military history to a close.’
    • ‘Now a chapter of history is closing and for very many children, teachers and other staff, memories come flooding back, some happy and some, of course, not so happy.’
    • ‘As such, this marks the beginning of a new chapter in the history of the school and signals a significant increase in the resources and staffing for physical education and sport.’
    • ‘It was a nightmarish experience that still haunts us, a hideous chapter in our history that refuses to be forgotten.’
    • ‘There is a desire to close what was a dark chapter in history.’
    • ‘The loss of these collections will close a chapter in the book of human enquiry forever.’
    • ‘The United States saw the conflict as a chapter of the Cold War.’
    • ‘"It's another grubby chapter in a rather sinister saga, " added Ms Doyle.’
    • ‘He decided to focus his energy more specifically within the black community during the final chapter of his life.’
    period, time, phase, page, stage, episode, epoch, era
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    1. 2.1A series or sequence.
      ‘the latest episode in a chapter of problems’
      • ‘Yesterday brought us a chapter of disasters.’
      • ‘It is the latest in a chapter of accidents since the defending champions arrived in France over a month ago.’
      • ‘‘It’s been a chapter of adventures,’ he said.’
  • 3The governing body of a religious community or knightly order.

    ‘land granted by the Dean and Chapter of St Paul's Cathedral’
    • ‘One of the more controversial parts of the new church order is the decision to give Parish Councils, not the cathedral chapters, the power to hire clergy.’
    • ‘Most northern chapters of the chivalric orders had salles like this one, and the weather raging outside the thick walls reminded Charrow of why that was.’
    • ‘In 1304 he was present at the general chapter of the Dominican order held at Toulouse.’
    • ‘In 1176 Pope Alexander III resolved the dispute by declaring the cities to be joint-sees and ordering the chapters to hold elections together.’
    • ‘Banning admission fees would mean introducing legislation to prohibit charging by independent deans and chapters of cathedrals.’
    governing body, council, assembly, convocation, convention, synod, consistory
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  • 4mainly North American A local branch of a society.

    ‘a leaflet was issued by the local chapter of the American Cancer Society’
    • ‘My mother covered him with blankets, and a neighbor phoned the local chapter of the Humane Society for help.’
    • ‘Many of our California Delegates represent our local chapters, and work with the state association to give us a greater presence in these elections.’
    • ‘He serves as president of the local chapter of the National Air Traffic Controllers Association, and he is a licensed commercial pilot.’
    • ‘If you live in a big city, you really ought to look into organizing a chapter of your own local bloggers.’
    • ‘Talk with someone from your local chapter of the American Cancer Society or a similar organization.’
    • ‘Local chapters of these organizations appeared throughout the country and even penetrated deeply into many rural areas.’
    • ‘For every kilometer I walked, I raised money for our local chapter of the American Diabetes Society.’
    • ‘Local youth and college chapters plan to go back into their communities and hold additional town hall meetings on Social Security.’
    • ‘Encourage students to form their own departmental organizations, like a physics club or a chapter of the Society of Physics Students.’
    • ‘The following are some tips from that seminar which may help your student chapter better use their local associations.’
    • ‘This also is the perfect time of year to recruit new members for your local association or collegiate chapter.’
    • ‘This might be a good time to call your local chapter with a donation or even an offer to volunteer.’
    • ‘This year he's president of the local chapter, which has about 200 members.’
    • ‘The headquarters staff also will handle fund-raising mass mailings, with chapters handling more targeted local mailings.’
    • ‘Organizations devoted to helping people deal with this problem have about 6,000 local chapters altogether.’
    • ‘The first relationship state coordinators develop is with the chairs of the chapters ' legislative committees in their states.’
    • ‘Social clubs, association chapters and labor unions have been in decline for decades.’
    • ‘On occasion, the Association has suffered discredit because of the actions or communications of chapters and conferences.’
    • ‘Their primary purpose was to network and enhance communications between state chapters.’
    • ‘Start by deciding how to tell the community about your chapter's activities.’
    branch, division, subdivision, section, department, bureau, agency, lodge, wing, arm, offshoot, subsidiary, satellite
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    1. 4.1A local group of Hell's Angels.
      ‘He plays about 250 shows a year for audiences that run the gamut from Bible societies to Hell's Angels chapters.’
      • ‘She was also the president of a female chapter of the Hell's Angels bikers club.’
      • ‘There are now nearly 600 Hell's Angels in 34 chapters across the country.’
      • ‘Raised by his grandmother, he befriended the Aarhus chapter of the Hell's Angels motorbike gang, is smothered in tattoos and has his nipples pierced.’
      • ‘He is wanted for murder - in this Arizona chapter of the Hell's Angels.’


    a chapter of accidents
    • A series of unfortunate events.

      ‘the whole affair has been a chapter of accidents from start to finish’
      • ‘‘The life of each of us is a chapter of accidents,’ Gray claims, and we are no less predisposed to genocide than we are to art, medicine or prayer.’
      • ‘Scorched, soaked and scavenged, Robinson's paintings are a testimony to modern life as a chapter of accidents, where menace mingles with grief, and aggression with abjection.’
      • ‘In what was described as a chapter of accidents, firemen had to break office windows to gain access to three Land Rovers at the terminal.’
      • ‘This is not a case of a chapter of accidents or a comedy of errors.’
      • ‘The whole scheme is a chapter of accidents waiting to happen.’
    chapter and verse
    • An exact reference or authority.

      ‘she can give chapter and verse on current legislation’
      • ‘Crossing the Line is a real eye opener, with the author providing chapter and verse on the personalities in the sport, both human and equine, and the way trainers, jockeys and owners can and do bend the rules.’
      • ‘Plenty of tourists or visitors will not know the exact titles of the attractions they are looking for, and why should they know chapter and verse?’
      • ‘Ask a Scotsman, Irishman or Welshman about their patron saint and the odds are they will give you chapter and verse - along with an exaggerated story about what they did on the last St Andrew's, St Patrick's or St David's Day.’
      • ‘Regardless of the number of individuals who can cite chapter and verse from the Constitution, most understand that it is a document designed to protect the citizen from an overreaching government.’
      • ‘He gave me chapter and verse on the dramatic arrest, showed me where the phone was to file my story and, a couple of days later, ‘arranged’ for my photographer colleague to get all the pictures he wanted of the villains.’
      • ‘She states her thesis early on, and proceeds to document it with chapter and verse, in a dense, brilliant, eloquent argument.’
      • ‘He goes through, chapter and verse, of how he has been treated by lawyers and by investigators, objecting to the public nature of things that have been said about him.’
      • ‘In fact, all of the most controversial scenes and lines of dialogue stem directly from the Gospels, chapter and verse.’
      • ‘The two men I shared the dorm with gave me chapter and verse on the corrupt government and foreign exploitation of their resources.’
      • ‘If anyone thinks I made that last one up, I'd be happy to cite chapter and verse.’


Middle English from Old French chapitre, from Latin capitulum, diminutive of caput ‘head’.