What does the idiom "chair a meeting" mean?

You are wondering about the meaning of the phrase chair a meeting, maybe you heard it in a TV show, movie or theater play. Although this idiom is not used very often, it enriches your capacity of expression and strengthens communication. In which case is the expression chair a meeting used and what is its meaning?

Meaning of "chair a meeting"


To ‘chair a meeting’ is to preside over a meeting in a position of authority and take responsibility for leading it to a successful and timely conclusion. The person 'chairing' the meeting is often the one who is leading the discussion and mediation of any disputes, as well as introducing and summarizing the agenda.


The phrase 'chair a meeting' dates back to the late 18th century and is derived from the Latin word 'cathedra', which translates to 'seat' or 'chair'. This is the origin of the word 'chairman', which is the highest-ranking member of a board or council and the leader of any meeting or discussion.


The phrase 'chair a meeting' is mainly used in formal or professional settings, such as board meetings or conferences. It is used to indicate that the person leading the meeting has the authority and responsibility to ensure that it runs smoothly and that the agenda is discussed and addressed. The phrase is also used in the informal setting among friends, colleagues, or family members to denote who has the responsibility and authority for overseeing the discussion and ensuring that it is productive and constructive.

Example Sentences

  • The CEO will be chairing the meeting, so please make sure all of your questions and comments are prepared in advance.
  • The mayor will be chairing the meeting this afternoon to discuss the proposed development.
  • Emily will be chairing the meeting for our team project, so make sure to bring your notes and be ready to discuss the agenda.

The meanings of the words in the "chair a meeting" idiom

Idioms with similar meanings in different languages

"Barking up the wrong tree" is an English idiom that means to pursue a mistaken or misguided course of action. In German, the similar idiom is "Auf dem Holzweg sein," which translates to "To be on the wrong track." This idiom emphasizes the idea that when you are pursuing the wrong course of action, you are not going to achieve your desired outcome.


No comment has been written about chair a meeting yet, you can write the first comment and share your thoughts with our other visitors.
Leave a Reply