a. A place of worship that is smaller than and subordinate to a church.
b. A place of worship in an institution, such as a prison, college, or hospital.
c. A recess or room in a church set apart for special or small services.
d. A place of worship for those not belonging to an established church.
e. The services held at a chapel: Students attend chapel each morning.
2. Music A choir or orchestra connected with a place of worship at a royal court.
a. A funeral home.
b. A room in a funeral home used for conducting funeral services.
[Middle English chapele, from Old French, from Medieval Latin capella, chapel, canopy, cape (perhaps from a shrine containing the cape of St. Martin of Tours), diminutive of capa, from Late Latin cappa, hooded cloak.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.