The definition of a chaplain is a religious person who performs religious services in a chapel, hospital, church or in the armed services.
An example of a chaplain is a priest who works in a hospital.
- a clergyman attached to a chapel, as of a royal court
- a minister, priest, or rabbi serving in a religious capacity with the armed forces, or in a prison, hospital, etc.
- a member of the clergy, or sometimes a layperson, appointed to perform religious functions in a public institution, club, etc.
Origin of chaplainMiddle English chapelain ; from Old French ; from Medieval Latin capellanus, origin, originally , custodian of St. Martin's cloak: see chapel
- A member of the clergy attached to a chapel.
- a. A member of the clergy who conducts religious services for an institution, such as a prison or hospital.b. A lay person who is appointed to provide spiritual leadership and counseling to members of an institution, as at a university.c. A member of the clergy who is connected with a royal court or an aristocratic household.
- A member of the clergy attached to a branch of the armed forces.
Origin of chaplainMiddle English chapelein, from Old French chapelain, from Medieval Latin capellānus, from capella, chapel; see chapel.
- chap′lain·cy, chap′lain·ship′
From Old French chapelain, from Late Latin cappellanus, from cappella.