Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Legal, Financial, Wikipedia.
Related to Chancellor: Chancellor of the Exchequer, Lord Chancellor


1. the head of the government in several European countries
2. US the president of a university or, in some colleges, the chief administrative officer
3. Brit and Canadian the honorary head of a university
4. US (in some states) the presiding judge of a court of chancery or equity
5. Brit the chief secretary of an embassy
6. Christianity a clergyman acting as the law officer of a bishop
7. Archaic the chief secretary of a prince, nobleman, etc.



(Russian, kantsler; from German Kanzler).

(1) In the feudal states of medieval Europe, the highest official, whose duties included directing the royal chancellery and archive and keeping the state seal.

(2) In tsarist Russia, state chancellor (gosudarstvennyi kantsler) was the highest civil rank. According to the table of ranks of 1722, it corresponded to the military rank of field marshal (general-feVdmarshal).

(3) In Germany from 1871 to 1945, the Reichskanzler was the head of the government; from 1934 he also exercised the powers of head of state.

(4) In the Federal Republic of Germany and in Austria, the federal chancellor is the head of the government.

(5) In Great Britain, the chancellor of the exchequer is the minister of finance; the lord high chancellor is the chairman of the House of Lords.

(6) In Switzerland, the chancellor of the Federation is the leader in the secretariat to the highest federal executive and administrative bodies (Federal Council and Federal Assembly).



(Reichskanzler). (1) In the German Empire from 1871 to 1918, the sole minister of all of Germany and chairman of the Bundesrat. Appointed by the emperor, the chancellor was the executive head of the empire.

(2) In the Weimar Republic of 1919–33, the head of government, appointed by the president with the approval of the Reichstag. In 1933 so-called presidential cabinets were created, which in circumvention of the constitution did not rely on the confidence of the parliament. From 1933 to 1945, Hitler was chancellor, and in 1934 he consolidated the powers of the head of government and state, abolishing the office of president.

References in classic literature ?
When the chancellor appeared, the king had already gone out by another door.
The chancellor entered, half smiling, half blushing.
Madame," said the chancellor, hesitating, "it would be to release Broussel.
Yet it was evident that all was being done under orders, for I noticed that all eyes were fixed on the man who stood just under the window, and to whom the Chancellor was continually whispering.
The irrepressible Chancellor of the Exchequer was still talking about the birds he had brought down, the birds that Burke and Halkett had brought down, and the birds that Jenkins, their host, had failed to bring down.
On such an afternoon, if ever, the Lord High Chancellor ought to be sitting her--as here he is--with a foggy glory round his head, softly fenced in with crimson cloth and curtains, addressed by a large advocate with great whiskers, a little voice, and an interminable brief, and outwardly directing his contemplation to the lantern in the roof, where he can see nothing but fog.
At the further end, in two high chairs as large as that of the Abbot, though hardly as elaborately carved, sat the master of the novices and the chancellor, the latter a broad and portly priest, with dark mirthful eyes and a thick outgrowth of crisp black hair all round his tonsured head.
Of this his Chancellor now reminded him, and laying down his seal of office he went home, hoping to live the rest of his days in peace.
I saw him for the first time in my life a little more than seven years ago, when two Imperial Highnesses and the Imperial Chancellor were on a visit here.
The late Lord Chancellor, gentlemen, was very fond of me,' said Mr.
Would you care a ha'penny for the Lord Chancellor if you know'd him in private and without his wig?
Suffice it to say, that I believe the applications for loans, gifts, and offices of profit that I have been requested to forward to the originals of the BROTHERS CHEERYBLE (with whom I never interchanged any communication in my life) would have exhausted the combined patronage of all the Lord Chancellors since the accession of the House of Brunswick, and would have broken the Rest of the Bank of England.