Definition of chapter in English:



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

    ‘we will deal with this in chapter eleven’
    • ‘In his hunger to possess books he admired, one friend copied down, sentence by sentence into a notebook, entire chapters from a favourite book.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Vernon assigned some very easy homework from the first chapter of our text book, and then we were dismissed.’
    • ‘The three main chapters of the book were first given in 2000 as part of a Columbia University lecture series on American culture.’
    • ‘Remember all those articles, journals, chapters, and books you meant to read about knowledge management?’
    • ‘The book contains 11 chapters, plus a prologue and epilogue, and an extensive suggested reading list.’
    • ‘The book's eleven chapters are divided into three thematic parts.’
    • ‘The book consists of eleven chapters by a variety of authors.’
    • ‘Three chapters of this book directly address diversity, defined here as more than just race; diversity means individuality.’
    • ‘By way of an epilogue, the last chapter of the book discusses recent innovations in music.’
    • ‘If the story evolves into a book, the chapters will have titles.’
    • ‘The chapter reads more like a stand alone essay than a chapter in a book.’
    • ‘If you're pressed for time, read the short first chapter.’
    • ‘She instructed us to read the first five chapters in our text book and answer all accompanying problems.’
    • ‘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 last chapter of the book, titled ‘Personal Morality,’ is brief but important.’
    • ‘The final six chapters deal with more technical issues.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Indeed, an entire chapter in the book was titled The Theory of Evolution.’
    section, division, part, portion, segment, component, bit
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    1. 1.1 An 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. 1.2 A section of a treaty.
      ‘a majority voted for the inclusion of the social chapter in the treaty’
      • ‘The social chapter of the Maastricht treaty deserved support on its own merits.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Labour is a trade union party so it was taken for granted it would fully implement the social chapter of the Maastricht Treaty.’
      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’
    • ‘It was a nightmarish experience that still haunts us, a hideous chapter in our history that refuses to be forgotten.’
    • ‘The United States saw the conflict as a chapter of the Cold War.’
    • ‘The loss of these collections will close a chapter in the book of human enquiry forever.’
    • ‘Last year marked a new chapter in the history of information security.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘They were truly ahead of their time, and one of the saddest chapters in wrestling history was the day they closed their doors forever.’
    • ‘‘This helps us fill in the missing chapters of Chippenham's history,’ he said.’
    • ‘A dawn flag-lowering ceremony, as the sun broke through on Tuesday morning, formally brought a chapter in Irish military history to a close.’
    • ‘My taxi driver shouted these stories over his shoulder as if they were history, sad chapters from Peru's violent past.’
    • ‘They might be able to consign the civil war to a tragic chapter of history.’
    • ‘"It's another grubby chapter in a rather sinister saga, " added Ms Doyle.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘This has the earmarks of the sort of backroom politicking that has marked some of the darkest chapters in American 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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘The story of native residential schools is an ignoble chapter in Canadian history.’
    • ‘The years spent in Missouri were one of the bitterest chapters in Mormon history.’
    • ‘There is a desire to close what was a dark chapter in history.’
    • ‘He decided to focus his energy more specifically within the black community during the final chapter of his life.’
    • ‘What begins as a personal odyssey becomes a fascinating exploration of one of the darkest chapters in the history of modern Ireland.’
    period, time, phase, page, stage, episode, epoch, era
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    1. 2.1 A series or sequence.
      ‘the latest episode in a chapter of problems’
      • ‘Yesterday brought us a chapter of disasters.’
      • ‘‘It’s been a chapter of adventures,’ he said.’
      • ‘It is the latest in a chapter of accidents since the defending champions arrived in France over a month ago.’
  • 3The governing body of a religious community or knightly order.

    ‘land granted by the Dean and Chapter of St Paul's Cathedral’
    • ‘In 1304 he was present at the general chapter of the Dominican order held at Toulouse.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Banning admission fees would mean introducing legislation to prohibit charging by independent deans and chapters of cathedrals.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘In 1176 Pope Alexander III resolved the dispute by declaring the cities to be joint-sees and ordering the chapters to hold elections together.’
    governing body, council, assembly, convocation, convention, synod, consistory
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  • 4North American A local branch of a society.

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


  • chapter and verse

    • An exact reference or authority.

      ‘she can give chapter and verse on current legislation’
      • ‘In fact, all of the most controversial scenes and lines of dialogue stem directly from the Gospels, 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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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?’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘The two men I shared the dorm with gave me chapter and verse on the corrupt government and foreign exploitation of their resources.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘If anyone thinks I made that last one up, I'd be happy to cite chapter and verse.’
  • a chapter of accidents

    • A series of unfortunate events.

      ‘the whole affair has been a chapter of accidents from start to finish’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘This is not a case of a chapter of accidents or a comedy of errors.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘The whole scheme is a chapter of accidents waiting to happen.’
      • ‘‘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.’
      series, sequence, succession, string, chain, progression, set, course, cycle
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Middle English: from Old French chapitre, from Latin capitulum, diminutive of caput ‘head’.