Definition of chapel in US English:



  • 1A small building for Christian worship, typically one attached to an institution or private house.

    ‘a service in the chapel’
    ‘attendance at chapel was compulsory’
    • ‘Banqueting rooms and a private chapel will be available for hire, allowing the monastery to host weddings and family occasions once again.’
    • ‘He even managed to convert one hardened criminal to Christianity, becoming Godfather to his daughter christened in the prison chapel wearing an old wedding dress.’
    • ‘Chairman Alex Carder told the parish council that a carol service had been held in the chapel at Christmas.’
    • ‘She also noted an increase in the number of students participating in the chapel's various worship services.’
    • ‘I attended a secondary school which was supposed to have a Christian ethos, had its own chapel, and had a chaplain linked to the school.’
    • ‘This does confirm the traditional picture of the parish church as the church of the poor, in contrast with the private chapels that were the typical churches of the wealthy.’
    • ‘She works in the prison chapel, keeping it clean and tidy.’
    • ‘He is dean of the chapel and professor of Christian ministry at Duke University in Durham, North Carolina.’
    • ‘Such breathtaking disengagement from even the basics of the Christian story is startling in an ancient university town, with its daily ringing of the bells of parish churches and college chapels.’
    • ‘A communion table and other Christian artefacts have been removed from a hospital chapel to accommodate visitors of all faiths.’
    • ‘I remember at one point going to the hospital chapel to pray for her and honestly thought that that was it.’
    • ‘Five weeks later she was christened in the chapel of Buckingham Palace and was given the names Elizabeth Alexandra Mary.’
    • ‘A bishop from one of these ancient churches would not be allowed to speak at my college chapel.’
    • ‘Five hours into the wait, I sought refuge in the hospital chapel, conveniently located adjacent to the waiting room.’
    • ‘Weddings can be held in the grounds by arrangement, although that would mean missing the chance to be married in its Marble Chapel, one of the most spectacular private chapels in Scotland.’
    • ‘Mass for all our young people will be in the famous college chapel.’
    • ‘After six weeks his parents, Michelle and Steve, organised an emergency Christening at the hospital chapel.’
    • ‘The now ruined Spofforth Castle was the base he established in the area and would have had a chantry chapel for private family worship.’
    • ‘There is a chapel and a mosque on campus, and on Fridays, some of my Tanzanian friends and I would go to a Christian fellowship at the chapel.’
    • ‘Edward and Sophie have been preparing for Louise's christening at the private chapel at Windsor Castle on April 24.’
    • ‘All of the religious programs are paid for with private donations, as was the construction of the prison chapel.’
    1. 1.1 A part of a large church or cathedral with its own altar and dedication.
      • ‘With the rise of private Masses, chapels began to bulge out from the laterals of the church and altars began to be recessed against the walls.’
      • ‘The training of musicians was undertaken within professional musical families, in the conservatories in Naples and Palermo, or at the chapels of the leading cathedrals.’
      • ‘After this mass, another was celebrated in one of the apsidiole chapels at the Romanesque cathedral of S. Reparata.’
      • ‘In this way, the two small paintings thematically join the two transept chapels.’
      • ‘Thirteen additional art works were packed into the central aisle, adjacent chapels and underground crypts of the church.’
      • ‘More than 200 people were evacuated from Canterbury Cathedral in Kent when a cathedral worker spotted the man drop the powder in a chapel in the crypt area.’
      • ‘The passageway is lit by a ribbon of alabaster above and subtly punctuated by the cathedral's devotional chapels, which are arranged along the inner walls.’
      • ‘Like traditional European churches, the space is divided into a single nave with small side chapels.’
      • ‘The variations cluster around the theme like chapels leading off a chancel.’
      • ‘Charity walker Teresa Flaherty is putting her bouquet of flowers in the consecration chapel at Sligo Cathedral for the intentions of everyone in the county.’
      • ‘Nothing is known about him; he was clearly familiar with Franco-Flemish painting, but his main debt is to the earlier court school in Bohemia, at Karltejn and in the chapels of the cathedral in Prague.’
      • ‘At the center of this church is a chapel dedicated to the Virgin Mary, with paintings by Leopold Layer.’
      • ‘Two new chapels in the cathedral, each costing £25,000, are planned.’
      • ‘Cathedrals and other large churches contained numerous chantry priests, and the need to provide them with chapels and altars for mass was one of the reasons why so many churches were rebuilt on a larger scale during the later Middle Ages.’
      • ‘Aisles provided space for additional altars and chapels.’
      • ‘He also had an established link with San Isidoro in particular, as Alfonso V had dedicated a chapel to him in the earlier church.’
      holy place, temple, church, tabernacle, altar, sanctuary, sanctum
      View synonyms
    2. 1.2British A place of worship for certain Protestant denominations.
      • ‘The religion of the milltowns was non-conformist - Methodist and Baptist chapels were more popular than C of E churches and certainly more active on a social level.’
      • ‘That is the reason why the temperance movement had support not only in the chapels but in the Chartist movement and later trade unions.’
      • ‘The Lutheran priesthood is paid by the state and serves sixty-six churches and chapels.’
      • ‘When Wesley died in 1791 over 50% of Methodist members, chapels and preachers were located in the north of England.’
      • ‘A former Presbyterian chapel, the building was converted for use as a concert hall to celebrate the centenary of the Yorkshire College in 1974.’
      • ‘Worshippers at a Methodist chapel said their final goodbyes to the building at a packed closing service.’
      • ‘The company was founded in 1946 by Peter's father Jack Hudson and is based in a former nonconformist chapel in Shawclough Road.’
      • ‘A number of chapels, including Congregational and United Reformed Church, amalgamated in the 1970s to become Christchurch in New Road.’
      • ‘He arrived in Whitby at a time when rural Methodist chapels were closing one by one and believers were few and far between.’
      • ‘If it was all about the same God why couldn't I go to chapel instead of the church?’
      • ‘It was the first Nonconformist chapel in the area.’
      • ‘It was built as a Methodist chapel in 1910, became a convalescence hospital during the First World War, and was later partly used as a billiard hall.’
      • ‘Church-building was matched by equally rapid growth of nonconformist chapels.’
      • ‘This is what transformed Cornwall and peppered it with Methodist chapels during the Evangelical Revival and in the first half of the 19th century.’
      • ‘The building was previously known as the village's Congregational and Zion chapel.’
      • ‘In Britain many were based on parish churches or, especially, Nonconformist chapels; the celebrated Huddersfield Choral Society was founded in 1836.’
      • ‘The nonconformist chapels, moral beacons to many in the Victorian heyday, were now suffering from falling membership, declining funds, and diminished authority.’
      • ‘It espoused ideas of the freeborn Englishman resisting the arbitrary powers of his masters and praying in his nonconformist chapel.’
      • ‘Judith told the congregation that there had been great rivalry between church and chapel in the village in the past but the relationship today was friendly and fruitful.’
      • ‘Even now, half a century after Hadow's lecture, much of this music is still to be heard in parish churches up and down the country and even more in nonconformist chapels.’
      • ‘In Cork he spoke at the Temperance Institute and the Imperial Hotel, but often his lectures were in Wesleyan chapels or Independent chapels.’
    3. 1.3 A room or building in which funeral services are held.
      • ‘I have planned both a full Catholic mass, and a smaller, personal service in a funeral home chapel.’
      • ‘Her funeral was held in a chapel, which was large and well maintained.’
      • ‘The chapel at Rochdale cemetery was packed with mourners for the funeral service, which was led by the Rev Robin Usher, of Milnrow parish church.’
      • ‘I hadn't been to the crematorium chapel, though, since Jack's funeral and I found it really hard.’
      • ‘The eastern, public strip is a wide hall, terminated at its southern end by the funerary chapel, where the services are held.’
      • ‘Complaints had also been received about the wind chimes which, because there were so many of them them, could be heard inside the crematorium chapel during services.’
      • ‘The funeral ended and the mourners exited the chapel.’
      • ‘The service had ended and the priest was standing in front of them, motioning for them to exit the chapel ahead of the rest of the guests.’
      • ‘She was her way to the chapel where the funeral services were being held.’
      • ‘Only about half the mourners were able to fit into the chapel, the rest having to stand outside throughout.’
      • ‘A funeral was held for Miriam at the Fullsville chapel two nights after the incident.’
  • 2British The members or branch of a labor union at a particular place of work.

    • ‘Four local newspaper chapels have now voted for strike ballots.’
    • ‘Activists talked about the need for the union's workplace chapels and geographic branches to ‘adopt’ a local BBC workplace.’
    • ‘The chapel has already won 100 percent support in a strike ballot to defend Mark and will be meeting this week to decide its next move.’
    • ‘Lucie McFall is a Bolton Evening News reporter and joint mother of the chapel.’
    • ‘Our chapel met beforehand and organised a solid mass walkout from that meeting.’
    • ‘We're back-after an absence of three weeks, due to a mechanical breakdown of the printing press and an industrial dispute involving chapels of the printing unions.’
    • ‘We are a very young chapel, new to taking action, and we had one and two day strikes at first before we escalated to all-out.’
    • ‘Last week they decided to form a union chapel.’
    • ‘This would have left virtually the entire chapel (union branch) earning below the average wage in Britain.’
    • ‘The origin of the position can be traced back to the father of chapels in work place union branches, mainly at first in the printing industry.’
    • ‘The chapel balloted and there was an overwhelming vote for strike action and action short of a strike.’
    • ‘The National Union of Journalists has a chapel of over 50 members and is growing.’
    • ‘They sacked me when I was father of the chapel at the Bolton Evening News to stop precisely this happening.’
    • ‘Speakers are being organised to address NUJ chapels around the country.’
    • ‘The Lincolnshire Free Press and Spalding Guardian chapel started their strikes after rejecting a 2.5 percent offer.’
    • ‘The chapel has put in a claim for a 10 percent rise.’
    • ‘The chapel is asking for a pay rise of £1, 500 per year each.’
    • ‘Three representatives from the chapel are visiting Broughton this week to recruit people to the union, with a view to improving conditions there.’
    • ‘Within a day of the Sunderland chapel voting to ballot, union reps were called in and told that the people most affected would get £200 compensation.’
    • ‘The local chapel of the NUJ is seeking a pay rise in excess of 6% in addition to changes to terms and conditions.’


Middle English: from Old French chapele, from medieval Latin cappella, diminutive of cappa ‘cap or cape’ (the first chapel being a sanctuary in which St Martin's cloak was preserved).