Student Dictionary

2 entries found for chauffeur.
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Main Entry: 1chauf·feur
Pronunciation: primarystressshomacr-fschwar, shomacr-primarystressfschwar
Function: noun
Etymology: from French chauffeur "driver," literally, "stoker," from chauffer "to heat"
: a person employed to drive people in a car
Word History It seems odd that the word chauffeur, meaning "one who drives an automobile for another," should come from the French verb chauffer, meaning "to heat." The title comes from the early days of automobiles, when they were still curious, rare, and, to many people, funny. Automobiles were noisy, produced clouds of smoke, and seemed to require a great deal of work to keep them running. To many people they were like the steam engines used to pull trains. Chauffeur, the French word for the "stoker," or person who kept the fire going in an engine, was used for anyone driving an automobile. Later the term was used only for a person hired to drive someone else's car.

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