AskDefine | Define chauffeur

Dictionary Definition

chauffeur n : a man paid to drive a privately owned car v : drive someone in a vehicle [syn: drive around]

User Contributed Dictionary

see Chauffeur



From chauffeur.


  • /ʃɒˈfɛə/ or /ˈʃəʊfə/


  1. a person employed to drive a private motor car or a hired car of executive or luxury class (like a limousine).

Usage notes

As a French word chauffeur has masculine gender, a female chauffeur is sometimes called a chauffeuse or, jocularly, a chauffeuress.




en-verb ed
  1. to be, or act as a chauffeur
  2. to transport someone in a motor car


to be, or act as a chauffeur
to transport someone in a motor car




  1. driver (person who drives a motorized vehicle, such as a car or a bus)



chauffer + -eur


fr-noun m

Related terms

Extensive Definition

A chauffeur is one who drives an automobile as a job. While the term may refer to anybody who drives for a living, it usually implies a driver of a luxury sedan, especially a limousine; those who drive non-luxury cars are simply called "drivers" (as in bus drivers). In some countries, particularly developing nations where a ready supply of labor ensures that even the middle classes can afford domestic staff and among the wealthy who avoid affectation, the chauffeur may simply be called the "driver."
People sometimes employ chauffeurs full time to drive them in their own cars, or there are occasional services offering limousines or rental cars driven by chauffeurs. This is very similar to but more luxurious than taking a taxicab.
A variety of benefits are cited for using chauffeurs, including convenience, productivity and time savings, and driving safety for businesspeople and seniors. The requirements to be a chauffeur vary depending on location and vehicle type. Most of the requirements are established on a state or municipality level. In addition to a regular driver's license, some areas require a chauffeur to obtain an additional license, and to meet certain minimum age and driving experience requirements, and only with a clean driving history.
Chauffeur is the French word for driver. It comes from the verb "chauffer" (to heat) and also means "he who heats". Early steam-powered cars required the driver to keep the engine hot, and the French term for stoker was adapted from steam railroads and ships .
Most limousine companies in the United States and the EU require their chauffeurs to undergo extensive training courses . These courses involve evasive or defensive driving techniques. These courses also teach the proper methods to ensure safety in the most extreme conditions like a flat tire at high speeds, loss of control of the vehicle, etc. Most companies will also have their own courses of what they expect from their chauffeurs. The chauffeurs may be taught the proper etiquette when they are in the presence of the client. All companies require random drug screening to maintain only the utmost professionals to represent their companies.
In many places (or at times in the past), proper attire is worn by the chauffeur at all times. This usually includes a cleaned and pressed black or dark suit and jacket, a pressed, crisp dress shirt and appropriate tie, as well as polished black shoes and even gloves. Some companies have uniforms for their chauffeurs, and some require that hats are worn in addition to the uniform. Some companies do not keep strictly to this standard, and there is wide variation throughout the transportation industry.


See also

chauffeur in Danish: Chauffør
chauffeur in German: Chauffeur
chauffeur in French: Chauffeur
chauffeur in Lithuanian: Vairuotojas
chauffeur in Dutch: Chauffeur
chauffeur in Japanese: 運転手
chauffeur in Swedish: Chaufför
chauffeur in Chinese: 司機

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

Sunday driver, backseat driver, bicycle, bike, boy, bus, bus driver, busman, butler, cabby, cabdriver, catch a train, coachman, cycle, drive, driver, entrain, equerry, gardener, gentleman, gillie, go by rail, hack, hackdriver, hackman, hacky, hit-and-run driver, houseboy, houseman, jitney driver, joyride, joyrider, lord-in-waiting, make a train, man, manservant, motor, motorcycle, motorist, pedal, ride, road hog, speeder, take a joyride, taxi, taxidriver, teamster, truck driver, trucker, truckman, valet, valet de chambre, wheel
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