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a main division of a book, treatise, or the like, usually bearing a number or title.
a branch, usually restricted to a given locality, of a society, organization, fraternity, etc.:
the Connecticut chapter of the American Red Cross.
an important portion or division of anything:
The atomic bomb opened a new chapter in history.

an assembly of the monks in a monastery, of those in a province, or of the entire order.
a general assembly of the canons of a church.
a meeting of the elected representatives of the provinces or houses of a religious community.
the body of such canons or representatives collectively.

any general assembly.
Liturgy. a short scriptural quotation read at various parts of the office, as after the last psalm in the service of lauds, prime, tierce, etc.
Horology. any of the marks or numerals designating the hours on a dial.
to divide into or arrange in chapters.
a division of a written work, esp a narrative, usually titled or numbered
a sequence of events having a common attribute: a chapter of disasters
chapter of accidents

a series of misfortunes
the unforeseeable course of events

an episode or period in a life, history, etc
a numbered reference to that part of a Parliamentary session which relates to a specified Act of Parliament
a branch of some societies, clubs, etc, esp of a secret society
the collective body or a meeting of the canons of a cathedral or collegiate church or of the members of a monastic or knightly order related adjective capitular
a general assembly of some organization
chapter and verse, exact authority for an action or statement
(transitive) to divide into chapters

c.1200, “main division of a book,” from Old French chapitre (12c.) “chapter (of a book), article (of a treaty), chapter (of a cathedral),” alteration of chapitle, from Late Latin capitulum, diminutive of caput (genitive capitis) “head” (see capitulum). Sense of “local branch” (1815) is from cathedral sense (late 15c.), which seems to trace to convocations of canons at cathedral churches, during which the rules of the order by chapter, or a chapter (capitulum) of Scripture, were read aloud to the assembled. Chapter and verse “in full and thoroughly” (1620s) is a reference to Scripture.


A division of a sports contest, esp an inning of baseball; canto
An episode, period, or passage: Please don’t remind me of that revoltingly squalid chapter in my life (1940s+)

The several books of the Old and New Testaments were from an early time divided into chapters. The Pentateuch was divided by the ancient Hebrews into 54 _parshioth_ or sections, one of which was read in the synagogue every Sabbath day (Acts. 13:15). These sections were afterwards divided into 669 _sidrim_ or orders of unequal length. The Prophets were divided in somewhat the same manner into _haphtaroth_ or passages. In the early Latin and Greek versions of the Bible, similar divisions of the several books were made. The New Testament books were also divided into portions of various lengths under different names, such as titles and heads or chapters. In modern times this ancient example was imitated, and many attempts of the kind were made before the existing division into chapters was fixed. The Latin Bible published by Cardinal Hugo of St. Cher in A.D. 1240 is generally regarded as the first Bible that was divided into our present chapters, although it appears that some of the chapters were fixed as early as A.D. 1059. This division into chapters came gradually to be adopted in the published editions of the Hebrew, with some few variations, and of the Greek Scriptures, and hence of other versions.


Read Also:

  • Chapterhouse

    noun the building attached to a cathedral, collegiate church, or religious house in which the chapter meets (US) the meeting place of a college fraternity or sorority

  • Chaptrel

    a capital, as on a pilaster or vaulting shaft, engaged in masonry on one or more sides. a small capital.

  • Chapultepec

    a fortress and military school at the outskirts of Mexico City: captured by U.S. forces (1847) in the Mexican War; now a park.

  • Chaqueta

    a heavy jacket, especially a leather one worn by cowboys in the American Southwest.

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