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’
    • ‘Remember all those articles, journals, chapters, and books you meant to read about knowledge management?’
    • ‘If you're pressed for time, read the short first chapter.’
    • ‘The three main chapters of the book were first given in 2000 as part of a Columbia University lecture series on American culture.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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 final six chapters deal with more technical issues.’
    • ‘The book contains 11 chapters, plus a prologue and epilogue, and an extensive suggested reading list.’
    • ‘Presented in a series of chapters that read like independent articles, rather than unified chapters, the book can feel disjointed at times.’
    • ‘The last chapter of the book, titled ‘Personal Morality,’ is brief but important.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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 book consists of eleven chapters by a variety of authors.’
    • ‘The chapter reads more like a stand alone essay than a chapter in a book.’
    • ‘The book's eleven chapters are divided into three thematic parts.’
    • ‘I found it in amongst the pages of the manuscript, between two chapters like a book mark.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Indeed, an entire chapter in the book was titled The Theory of Evolution.’
    section, division, part, portion, segment, component, bit
    View synonyms
    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’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘The special minority chapters in these peace treaties contained what became known as the guarantee clause.’
      • ‘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.’
      section, division, part, portion, segment, component, bit
      View synonyms
  • 2A distinctive period in history or in a person's life.

    ‘the people are about to begin a new chapter in their history’
    • ‘‘This helps us fill in the missing chapters of Chippenham's history,’ he said.’
    • ‘The story of native residential schools is an ignoble chapter in Canadian history.’
    • ‘Last year marked a new chapter in the history of information security.’
    • ‘The loss of these collections will close a chapter in the book of human enquiry forever.’
    • ‘"It's another grubby chapter in a rather sinister saga, " added Ms Doyle.’
    • ‘They might be able to consign the civil war to a tragic chapter of history.’
    • ‘The years spent in Missouri were one of the bitterest chapters in Mormon history.’
    • ‘My taxi driver shouted these stories over his shoulder as if they were history, sad chapters from Peru's violent past.’
    • ‘This has the earmarks of the sort of backroom politicking that has marked some of the darkest chapters in American history.’
    • ‘The United States saw the conflict as a chapter of the Cold War.’
    • ‘What begins as a personal odyssey becomes a fascinating exploration of one of the darkest chapters in the history of modern Ireland.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘A dawn flag-lowering ceremony, as the sun broke through on Tuesday morning, formally brought a chapter in Irish military history to a close.’
    • ‘There is a desire to close what was a dark chapter in history.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘He decided to focus his energy more specifically within the black community during the final chapter of his life.’
    • ‘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.’
    period, time, phase, page, stage, episode, epoch, era
    View synonyms
    1. 2.1 A series or sequence.
      ‘the latest episode in a chapter of problems’
      • ‘‘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.’
      • ‘Yesterday brought us a chapter of disasters.’
  • 3The governing body of a religious community or knightly order.

    ‘land granted by the Dean and Chapter of St Paul's Cathedral’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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 1304 he was present at the general chapter of the Dominican order held at Toulouse.’
    governing body, council, assembly, convocation, convention, synod, consistory
    View synonyms
  • 4North American A local branch of a society.

    ‘a leaflet was issued by the local chapter of the American Cancer Society’
    • ‘Organizations devoted to helping people deal with this problem have about 6,000 local chapters altogether.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘For every kilometer I walked, I raised money for our local chapter of the American Diabetes Society.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Local chapters of these organizations appeared throughout the country and even penetrated deeply into many rural areas.’
    • ‘The following are some tips from that seminar which may help your student chapter better use their local associations.’
    • ‘If you live in a big city, you really ought to look into organizing a chapter of your own local bloggers.’
    • ‘This also is the perfect time of year to recruit new members for your local association or collegiate chapter.’
    • ‘Start by deciding how to tell the community about your chapter's activities.’
    • ‘Their primary purpose was to network and enhance communications between state chapters.’
    • ‘He serves as president of the local chapter of the National Air Traffic Controllers Association, and he is a licensed commercial pilot.’
    • ‘The headquarters staff also will handle fund-raising mass mailings, with chapters handling more targeted local mailings.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Local youth and college chapters plan to go back into their communities and hold additional town hall meetings on Social Security.’
    • ‘Talk with someone from your local chapter of the American Cancer Society or a similar organization.’
    branch, division, subdivision, section, department, bureau, agency, lodge, wing, arm, offshoot, subsidiary, satellite
    View synonyms
    1. 4.1 A local group of Hell's Angels.
      • ‘She was also the president of a female chapter of the Hell's Angels bikers club.’
      • ‘He is wanted for murder - in this Arizona chapter of the Hell's Angels.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘There are now nearly 600 Hell's Angels in 34 chapters across the country.’
      • ‘He plays about 250 shows a year for audiences that run the gamut from Bible societies to Hell's Angels chapters.’


  • chapter and verse

    • An exact reference or authority.

      ‘she can give chapter and verse on current legislation’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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?’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘She states her thesis early on, and proceeds to document it with chapter and verse, in a dense, brilliant, eloquent argument.’
      • ‘If anyone thinks I made that last one up, I'd be happy to cite chapter and verse.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘In fact, all of the most controversial scenes and lines of dialogue stem directly from the Gospels, chapter and verse.’
      • ‘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.’
  • a chapter of accidents

    • A series of unfortunate events.

      ‘the whole affair has been a chapter of accidents from start to finish’
      • ‘This is not a case of a chapter of accidents or a comedy of errors.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘‘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.’
      • ‘The whole scheme is a chapter of accidents waiting to happen.’
      • ‘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.’
      series, sequence, succession, string, chain, progression, set, course, cycle
      View synonyms


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