1. a person employed to drive a private automobile or limousine for the owner.
  2. a person employed to drive a car or limousine that transports paying passengers.

verb (used with object)

  1. to drive (a vehicle) as a chauffeur.
  2. to transport by car: Saturday mornings I have to chauffeur the kids to their music lessons.

verb (used without object)

  1. to work as a chauffeur: He chauffeured for a time right after the war.


  1. a person employed to drive a car


  1. to act as driver for (a person)he chauffeured me to the stadium; he chauffeurs for the Duke

1896, originally “a motorist,” from French chauffeur, literally “stoker,” operator of a steam engine, French nickname for early motorists, from chauffer “to heat,” from Old French chaufer “to heat, warm up; to become hot” (see chafe). The first motor-cars were steam-driven. Sense of “professional or paid driver of a private motor car” is from 1902.

The ’95 Duryea wagon, which won the Chicago contest Fall, was exhibited at the Detroit Horse Show last week. Charles B. King, treasurer of the American Motor League, acted as “chauffeur,” as the French say. [“The Horseless Age,” April 1896]


1902, from chauffeur (n.). Related: Chauffeured; chauffeuring.

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