A chaplain is usually a religious leader — a minister, rabbi, or other clergy member — who works outside of a church or temple.

You can use the word chaplain to describe the minister who counsels patients at your local hospital. Or, a chaplain could also be a priest who lives and works with soldiers on a battlefield (a military chaplain). These days, many chaplains are non-denominational, not associated with any particular religion. The Latin root word, cappellanus, means "clergyman."

Definitions of chaplain

n a clergyman ministering to some institution

prison chaplain
a chaplain in a prison
hospital chaplain
a chaplain in a hospital
Holy Joe, military chaplain, padre, sky pilot
a chaplain in one of the military services
Type of:
clergyman, man of the cloth, reverend
a member of the clergy and a spiritual leader of the Christian Church

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