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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 periodicals archive ?
What has our Great Chancellor contributed to the UK motor industry?
If you were a truly great Chancellor, you would be helping these small businessmen and women to enter the kosher economy - not persecuting them.
He's not only a great Chancellor, but a true statesman.
After posing for a photo with Mr Brown, Mr Mandelson said: "Gordon is a great Chancellor.
If she can ensure Germany navigates this chapter of change with its best values and proudest principles unscathed she may still merit a place in the pantheon of great chancellors, but the scale of the challenge now facing her is daunting.
Nigel Lawson was one of the great Chancellors of the Exchequer of the modern age, who voted to join the Common Market in 1975.
In my view Gordon Brown has been one of the great chancellors, but one of his first decisions, and possibly his worst, was to rescind the tax free status of pension funds effectively destabilised the whole pensions system.