channel (n.) Look up channel at Dictionary.com
early 14c., "bed of running water," from Old French chanel "bed of a waterway; tube, pipe, gutter," from Latin canalis "groove, channel, waterpipe" (see canal). Given a broader, figurative sense 1530s (of information, commerce, etc.); meaning "circuit for telegraph communication" (1848) probably led to that of "band of frequency for radio or TV signals" (1928).

English Channel is from 1825; the older name was British Channel (by 1730). John of Trevisa's Middle English translation of the encyclopedia De Proprietatibus Rerum (c. 1398) has frensshe see for "English Channel." The Channel Islands are the French Îles Anglo-Normandes.
channel (v.) Look up channel at Dictionary.com
1590s, "to wear channels in," from channel (n.). Meaning "convey in a channel" is from 1640s. Related: Channeled; channeling.
chanson (n.) Look up chanson at Dictionary.com
c. 1600, from French chanson, from Old French chançon "song, epic poem" (12c.), from Latin cantionem (nominative cantio) "song," from past participle stem of canere (see chant (v.)).
chant (v.) Look up chant at Dictionary.com
late 14c., from Old French chanter "to sing, celebrate" (12c.), from Latin cantare "to sing," originally frequentative of canere "sing" (which it replaced), from PIE root *kan- "to sing" (source also of Greek eikanos "cock," Old English hana "cock," both literally "bird who sings for sunrise;" Old Irish caniaid "sings," Welsh canu "sing"). The frequentative quality of the word was no longer felt in Latin, and by the time French emerged the word had entirely displaced canere. Related: Chanted; chanting.
chant (n.) Look up chant at Dictionary.com
1670s, from chant (v.), or else from French chant (12c.), from Latin cantus "song, a singing; bird-song," from past participle stem of canere.
chanter (n.) Look up chanter at Dictionary.com
"singer, composer," late 14c., from Old French chanteor (Modern French chanteur), from Latin cantorem "singer," from cantare "to sing" (see chant (v.)).
chanteuse (n.) Look up chanteuse at Dictionary.com
"female singer of popular songs," 1888, from French chanteuse (16c.), fem. agent noun of chanter "to sing" (see chant (v.)). In Old French, the word was chanteresse.
chanticleer (n.) Look up chanticleer at Dictionary.com
"a cock," c. 1300, from Old French Chantecler "sing-loud" (Modern French Chanteclair), name of the cock in medieval stories of Reynard the Fox; from chanter "to sing" (see chant (v.)) + cler (see clear (adj.)).
Chantilly Look up Chantilly at Dictionary.com
town in France near Paris; as a kind of porcelain made there, 1774; in reference to a delicate lace originally made there, 1831. The place name is Medieval Latin Chantileium, from the Gallo-Roman personal name Cantilius.
chanty (n.) Look up chanty at Dictionary.com
1856, also shanty, chantey; probably an alteration of French chanter "to sing" (see chant (v.)); perhaps from French chantez, imperative of chanter.
Chanukah Look up Chanukah at Dictionary.com
also Chanukkah, 1891, from Hebrew hanukkah "consecration."
chaos (n.) Look up chaos at Dictionary.com
late 14c., "gaping void," from Old French chaos (14c.) or directly from Latin chaos, from Greek khaos "abyss, that which gapes wide open, is vast and empty," from *khnwos, from PIE *ghai- "to gape, yawn" (see yawn (v.)).

Meaning "utter confusion" (c. 1600) is extended from theological use of chaos for "the void at the beginning of creation" in Vulgate version of Genesis (1530s in English). The Greek for "disorder" was tarakhe, however the use of chaos here was rooted in Hesiod ("Theogony"), who describes khaos as the primeval emptiness of the Universe, begetter of Erebus and Nyx ("Night"), and in Ovid ("Metamorphoses"), who opposes Khaos to Kosmos, "the ordered Universe." Meaning "orderless confusion" in human affairs is from c. 1600. Chaos theory in the modern mathematical sense is attested from c. 1977.
chaotic (adj.) Look up chaotic at Dictionary.com
1713, "in a state of primordial chaos," irregularly formed in English from chaos + -ic, probably on model of eros/erotic, demos/demotic, hypnos/hypnotic, etc. Transferred or figurative meaning "confused, disordered" is from 1747.
chap (n.) Look up chap at Dictionary.com
1570s, "customer," short for obsolete chapman "purchaser, trader" (see cheap). Colloquial sense of "lad, fellow" is first attested 1716 (compare slang tough customer).
chap (v.) Look up chap at Dictionary.com
"to crack," mid-15c., chappen (intransitive) "to split, burst open;" "cause to crack" (transitive); perhaps a variant of choppen (see chop (v.), and compare strap/strop), or related to Middle Dutch kappen "to chop, cut," Danish kappe, Swedish kappa "to cut." Related: Chapped; chapping. The noun meaning "fissure in the skin" is from late 14c.
chaparral (n.) Look up chaparral at Dictionary.com
"shrub thicket," 1850, American English, from Spanish chaparro "evergreen oak," perhaps from Basque txapar "little thicket," diminutive of sapar "heath, thicket."
In Spain, a chaparral is a bush of a species of oak. The termination al signifies a place abounding in; as, chaparral, a place of oak-bushes, almendral, an almond orchard; parral, a vineyard; cafetal, a coffee plantation, etc., etc.

This word, chaparral, has been introduced into the language since our acquisition of Texas and New Mexico, where these bushes abound. It is a series of thickets, of various sizes, from one hundred yards to a mile through, with bushes and briars, all covered with thorns, and so closely entwined together as almost to prevent the passage of any thing larger than a wolf or hare. [John Russell Bartlett, "Dictionary of Americanisms," 1859]
chapbook (n.) Look up chapbook at Dictionary.com
also chap-book, 1824, shortened from chap(man) book, so called because chapmen (see cheap) once sold such books on the street. A modern word for a type of old book.
chapeau (n.) Look up chapeau at Dictionary.com
1520s, from Middle French chapeau (Old French capel, 12c.) "hat," from Vulgar Latin *cappellus, from Late Latin capellum (also source of Italian cappello, Spanish capelo, Portuguese chapeo), diminutive of cappa (see cap (n.)).
chapel (n.) Look up chapel at Dictionary.com
early 13c., from Old French chapele (12c., Modern French chapelle), from Medieval Latin cappella "chapel, sanctuary for relics," literally "little cape," diminutive of Late Latin cappa "cape" (see cap (n.)); by tradition, originally in reference to the sanctuary in France in which the miraculous cape of St. Martin of Tours, patron saint of France, was preserved; meaning extended in most European languages to "any sanctuary." (While serving Rome as a soldier deployed in Gaul, Martin cut his military coat in half to share it with a ragged beggar. That night, Martin dreamed Christ wearing the half-cloak; the half Martin kept was the relic.)
chaperon (n.) Look up chaperon at Dictionary.com
1720, "woman accompanying a younger, unmarried lady in public," from French chaperon "protector," especially "female companion to a young woman," earlier "head covering, hood" (c. 1400), from Old French chaperon "hood, cowl" (12c.), diminutive of chape "cape" (see cap (n.)). "... English writers often erroneously spell it chaperone, app. under the supposition that it requires a fem. termination" [OED]. The notion is of "covering" the socially vulnerable one.
"May I ask what is a chaperon?"
"A married lady; without whom no unmarried one can be seen in public. If the damsel be five and forty, she cannot appear without the matron; and if the matron be fifteen, it will do."

[Catharine Hutton, "The Welsh Mountaineer," London, 1817]
The word had been used in Middle English in the literal sense "hooded cloak."
chaperon (v.) Look up chaperon at Dictionary.com
"act as a chaperon," 1792, also chaperone, from chaperon (n.), or from French chaperonner, from chaperon (n.). Related: Chaperoned; chaperoning.
chaplain (n.) Look up chaplain at Dictionary.com
mid-14c., "minister of a chapel," from Old French chapelein "clergyman" (Modern French chapelain), from Medieval Latin cappellanus "clergyman," originally "custodian of St. Martin's cloak" (see chapel). Replaced Old English capellane (from the same Medieval Latin source) "clergyman who conducts private religious services," originally in great households, later in military regiments, prisons, etc.
chaplet (n.) Look up chaplet at Dictionary.com
late 14c., from Old French chapelet (Old North French capelet) "garland, rosary," properly "a small hat," diminutive of chape, chapeau "headdress, hood, hat" (see chapeau).
Chaplinesque (adj.) Look up Chaplinesque at Dictionary.com
1921, from Charlie Chaplin (1889-1977), British-born silent movie star. The surname is attested from c. 1200, from Old French chapelain "priest."
chapman (n.) Look up chapman at Dictionary.com
"peddler, itinerant tradesman," Middle English form of Old English ceapman "tradesman," from West Germanic compound *kaupman- (source also of Old High German choufman, German Kauffman, Middle Dutch and Dutch koopman), formed with equivalents of man (n.) + West Germanic *kaup- (source also of Old Saxon cop, Old Frisian kap "trade, purchase," Middle Dutch coop, Dutch koop "trade, market, bargain," kauf "trader," Old English ceap "barter, business; a purchase"), from Proto-Germanic *kaupoz- (source also of Danish kjøb "purchase, bargain," Old Norse kaup "bargain, pay;" compare also Old Church Slavonic kupiti "to buy," a Germanic loan-word), probably an early Germanic borrowing from Latin caupo (genitive cauponis) "petty tradesman, huckster," which is of unknown origin. Compare also cheap (adj.).
Chappaquiddick Look up Chappaquiddick at Dictionary.com
place in Dukes County, Massachusetts; from a native New England Algonquian language, literally "island adjacent to the mainland."
chaps (n.1) Look up chaps at Dictionary.com
1844, American English, short for chaparejos, from Mexican Spanish chaparreras, overalls worn to protect from chaparro (see chaparral).
chaps (n.2) Look up chaps at Dictionary.com
"jaws, cheeks," from chap (n.), 1550s, of unknown origin. Hence, chap-fallen (1590s).
chapter (n.) Look up chapter at Dictionary.com
c. 1200, "main division of a book," from Old French chapitre (12c.) "chapter (of a book), article (of a treaty), chapter (of a cathedral)," alteration of chapitle, from Late Latin capitulum "main part," literally "little head," diminutive of caput "head," also "leader, guide, chief person; summit; capital city; origin, source, spring," figuratively "life, physical life;" in writing "a division, paragraph;" of money, "the principal sum," from PIE root *kaput- "head."

Sense of "local branch" (1815) is from cathedral sense (late 15c.), which seems to trace to convocations of canons at cathedral churches, during which the rules of the order by chapter, or a chapter (capitulum) of Scripture, were read aloud to the assembled. Chapter and verse "in full and thoroughly" (1620s) is a reference to Scripture.
char (v.) Look up char at Dictionary.com
"to reduce to charcoal," 1670s, probably a back-formation from charcoal (q.v.). Related: Charred; charring.
charabanc (n.) Look up charabanc at Dictionary.com
British for "sightseeing bus," 1811, originally in a Continental context (especially Swiss), from French char-à-bancs, literally "benched carriage," from char "wagon," from Latin carrus "two-wheeled wagon" (see car) + à "to" (see ad-) + banc "bench" (see bench (n.)).
character (n.) Look up character at Dictionary.com
mid-14c., carecter, "symbol marked or branded on the body;" mid-15c., "symbol or drawing used in sorcery," from Old French caratere "feature, character" (13c., Modern French caractère), from Latin character, from Greek kharakter "engraved mark," also "symbol or imprint on the soul," also "instrument for marking," from kharassein "to engrave," from kharax "pointed stake," from PIE root *gher- (4) "to scrape, scratch." Meaning extended in ancient times by metaphor to "a defining quality."
You remember Eponina, who kept her husband alive in an underground cavern so devotedly and heroically? The force of character she showed in keeping up his spirits would have been used to hide a lover from her husband if they had been living quietly in Rome. Strong characters need strong nourishment. [Stendhal "de l'Amour," 1822]
Meaning "sum of qualities that define a person" is from 1640s. Sense of "person in a play or novel" is first attested 1660s, in reference to the "defining qualities" he or she is given by the author. Meaning "a person" in the abstract is from 1749; especially "eccentric person" (1773). Colloquial sense of "chap, fellow" is from 1931. The Latin ch- spelling was restored from 1500s. Character actor, one who specializes in characters with marked peculiarities, is attested from 1861; character assassination is from 1888; character-building (n.) from 1886.
characterisation (n.) Look up characterisation at Dictionary.com
chiefly British English spelling of characterization; for spelling, see -ize.
characterise (v.) Look up characterise at Dictionary.com
chiefly British English spelling of characterize; for suffix, see -ize. Related: Characterised; characterising.
characteristic Look up characteristic at Dictionary.com
adjective and noun both first attested 1660s, from character + -istic on model of Greek kharakteristikos. Earlier in the adjectival sense was characteristical (1620s). Related: Characteristically (1640s). Characteristics "distinctive traits" also attested from 1660s.
characterization (n.) Look up characterization at Dictionary.com
1560s, "marking out of a precise form;" see characterize + noun ending -ation. Meaning "description of essential features" is from 1814.
characterize (v.) Look up characterize at Dictionary.com
1590s, "to engrave, write," back-formation from characterization, or else from Medieval Latin characterizare, from Greek kharakterizein "to designate by a characteristic mark," from kharakter (see character). Meaning "to describe the qualities of" is recorded from 1630s; that of "to be characteristic" is from 1744. Related: Characterized; characterizing.
charade (n.) Look up charade at Dictionary.com
1776, from French charade (18c.), probably from Provençal charrado "long talk, chatter," of obscure origin, perhaps from charrar "to chatter, gossip," of echoic origin. Compare Italian ciarlare, Spanish charlar "to talk, prattle." Originally not silent, but relying rather on enigmatic descriptions of the words or syllables.
As we have ever made it a Rule to shew our Attention to the Reader, by 'catching the Manners living, as they rise,' as Mr. Pope expresses it, we think ourselves obliged to give Place to the following Specimens of a new Kind of SMALL WIT, which, for some Weeks past, has been the Subject of Conversation in almost every Society, from the Court to the Cottage. The CHARADE is, in fact, a near Relation of the old Rebus. It is usually formed from a Word of two Syllables; the first Syllable is described by the Writer; then the second; they are afterwards united and the whole Word marked out .... [supplement to "The Universal Magazine of Knowledge and Pleasure," volumes 58-59, 1776]
Among the examples given are:

My first makes all nature appear of one face;
At the next we find music, and beauty and grace;
And, if this Charade is most easily read,
I think that the third shou'd be thrown at my head.

[The answer is "snow-ball."]

The silent form, the main modern form, was at first a variant known as dumb charades and at first it was not a speed contest; rather it adhered to the old pattern, and the performing team acted out all the parts in order before the audience team began to guess.
There is one species of charade which is performed solely by "dumb motions," somewhat resembling the child's game of "trades and professions"; but the acting charade is a much more amusing, and more difficult matter. ["Goldoni, and Modern Italian Comedy," in "The Foreign And Colonial Quarterly Review," Volume 6, 1846]
An 1850 book, "Acting Charades," reports that Charades en Action were all the rage in French society, and that "Lately, the game has been introduced into the drawing-rooms of a few mirth-loving Englishmen. Its success has been tremendous." Welsh siarad obviously is a loan-word from French or English, but its meaning of "speak, a talk" is closer to the Provençal original.
charcoal (n.) Look up charcoal at Dictionary.com
mid-14c., charcole, first element is either Old French charbon "charcoal," or, on the current theory, obsolete charren "to turn" (from Old English cerran) + cole "coal," thus, "to turn to coal."
charcuterie (n.) Look up charcuterie at Dictionary.com
1858, from French charcuterie, literally "pork-butcher's shop," from charcuter (16c.), from obsolete char (Modern French chair) cuite "cooked flesh," from chair "meat" (Old French char, from Latin carnem "flesh," originally "a piece of flesh," from PIE root *sker- (1) "to cut") + cuit, past participle of cuire "to cook." Compare French charcutier "pork butcher; meat roaster, seller of cooked (not raw) meat."
chard (n.) Look up chard at Dictionary.com
1650s, from French carde "chard" (14c.), perhaps via Provençal, from Latin carduus "thistle, artichoke" (see harsh).
Chardonnay (n.) Look up Chardonnay at Dictionary.com
type of wine, 1907, from French chardonnay, originally the type of grape used to make the wine, supposedly named for the town of Chardonnay, Saône-et-Loire, in eastern France. The name is said to be from Latin Cardonnacum.
charette (n.) Look up charette at Dictionary.com
also charrette, c. 1400, "a chariot, a cart," from Old French charrete "wagon, small cart" (12c.), diminutive of charre, from Latin carrum, carrus (see car). Meaning "collaborative session" is by 1982.
charge (v.) Look up charge at Dictionary.com
early 13c., "to load, fill," from Old French chargier "to load, burden, weigh down," from Late Latin carricare "to load a wagon or cart," from Latin carrus "two-wheeled wagon" (see car).

Senses of "entrust," "command," "accuse" all emerged in Middle English and were found in Old French. Sense of "rush in to attack" is 1560s, perhaps through earlier meaning "load a weapon" (1540s). Meaning "impose a burden of expense" is from mid-14c. Meaning "fill with electricity" is from 1748. Related: Charged; charging. Chargé d'affaires was borrowed from French, 1767, literally "(one) charged with affairs."
charge (n.) Look up charge at Dictionary.com
c. 1200, "a load, a weight," from Old French charge "load, burden; imposition," from chargier "to load, to burden," from Late Latin carricare "to load a wagon or cart," from Latin carrus "two-wheeled wagon" (see car).

Meaning "responsibility, burden" is mid-14c. (as in take charge, late 14c.; in charge, 1510s), which progressed to "pecuniary burden, cost, burden of expense" (mid-15c.), and then to "price demanded for service or goods" (1510s). Legal sense of "accusation" is late 15c.; earlier "injunction, order" (late 14c.). Electrical sense is from 1767. Slang meaning "thrill, kick" (American English) is from 1951.
chargeable (adj.) Look up chargeable at Dictionary.com
late 15c., "burdensome," from charge (v.) + -able. Sense of "subject to a tax or payment" is from 1610s; that of "liable to be made an expense" is from 1640s; that of "liable to be charged" (with an offense, etc.) is from 1660s.
charger (n.) Look up charger at Dictionary.com
late 15c., "one who loads," agent noun from charge (v.). Meaning "horse ridden in charging" is from 1762.
chariot (n.) Look up chariot at Dictionary.com
mid-14c., from Old French charriot "wagon" (13c.), augmentative of char "car," from Late Latin carrum "chariot" (see car).
charioteer (n.) Look up charioteer at Dictionary.com
late 14c., from Old French charioteur, from charriot (see chariot). As a verb from 1802. Related: Charioteered; charioteering.
charisma (n.) Look up charisma at Dictionary.com
"gift of leadership, power of authority," c. 1930, from German, used in this sense by Max Weber (1864-1920) in "Wirtschaft u. Gesellschaft" (1922), from Greek kharisma "favor, divine gift," from kharizesthai "to show favor to," from kharis "grace, beauty, kindness" (Charis was the name of one of the three attendants of Aphrodite) related to khairein "to rejoice at," from PIE root *gher- (2) "to like, want." More mundane sense of "personal charm" recorded by 1959.

Earlier, the word had been used in English with a sense of "grace, talent from God" (1875), directly from Latinized Greek; and in the form charism (plural charismata) it is attested with this sense in English from 1640s. Middle English, meanwhile, had karisme "spiritual gift, divine grace" (c. 1500).