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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 ?
The ceremony saw Lord Sawyer, dressed in his ceremonial academic gown, take over the Chancellorship from Lord Brittan, who was awarded an honorary Doctor of Laws degree for his 12 years service to the university.
At the point Mr Brown admits to the major mistake of his Chancellorship and reinstates tax relief on dividend income for pension funds - pounds 5 billion a year - I might have some sympathy with all these poppycock proposals on pensions.
Gordon Brown is preparing to make the most important statement of his Chancellorship.
Brown was under the impression they had agreed that when they took power, he'd go for the leadership while Blair would settle for the chancellorship.
Mr Brown will highlight the Government's success in running the economy under his chancellorship.
The award of a 73p-a-week rise to pensioners is still the biggest scandal of his Chancellorship.
Throughout his Chancellorship, Mr Brown has never betrayed any outward sign of the anger many people believe he still feels about the way he was treated during the period of the Labour leadership election in 1994 after the death of John Smith.
Blair's performance as Shadow Home Secretary was stunning while Brown became bogged down in the Shadow Chancellorship.
The Prime Minister refused to guarantee him the Chancellorship if the Tories win.
As to exchange rates, the treaty assumes that candidate currencies first belong to the dreaded exchange rate mechanism that wrecked Lord Lamont's chancellorship.
It was a great honour to have been invited to be Chancellor of the University of Warwick and to have followed Lord Scarman in the Chancellorship.
But if he did we could expect something much more like an old-fashioned Labour Chancellorship.