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give (someone) the chair

1. To execute someone by electrocution by means of an electric chair. Primarily heard in US, South Africa. Some states will still give a prisoner the chair if they so choose.
2. In professional wrestling, to hit one's opponent with a metal folding chair, which is used as a prop during the performance. Primarily heard in US, South Africa. I was shocked to find my kindly old grandmother screaming, "Give him the chair!" during a pro wrestling match on TV.
See also: chair, give

a game of musical chairs

A situation in which people or things are moved, shuffled, or rearranged from one position to another. After the boss resigned, it was a regular game of musical chairs in the company to figure out who would take over for whom. It's been a game of musical chairs trying to create enough space in the living room for Alex's birthday party this weekend.
See also: chair, game, musical, of

nearly fall off (one's) chair

To be very shocked or surprised by something. I nearly fell off my chair when Justin offered to do the dishes after dinner!
See also: chair, fall, nearly, off

nearly fall out of (one's) chair

To be very shocked or surprised by something. I nearly fell out of my chair when Justin offered to do the dishes after dinner!
See also: chair, fall, nearly, of, out

keep (one) on the edge of (one's) chair

To make someone (especially a member of an audience) feel very excited, nervous, or filled with suspense while they wait to see what happens next. (Most often said of films.) It's not going to win any Oscars, but the film certainly kept us on the edge of our seats the entire time! Her character is so sinister and conniving that she keeps you on the edge of your seat whenever she's on screen.
See also: chair, edge, keep, of, on

pull up a chair

1. expression Come sit with us. (The listener may not have to physically move a chair in order to join the group,) The meeting's just getting started—pull up a chair.
2. verb To move a chair in order to sit with a person or group. I pulled up a chair and joined the others at the conference table.
See also: chair, pull, up

play musical chairs

1. Literally, to play the game known as "musical chairs," in which participants walk around a circle of chairs until the music stops and each person tries to secure a chair. As there are not enough chairs in the circle, the unsuccessful person is then removed from the game. Mommy, can we play musical chairs at my birthday party?
2. To move, shuffle, or rearrange people from one position to another, as in a group or organization. After the boss resigned, everyone started playing musical chairs in the company to figure out who would take over for whom. We've been playing musical chairs trying to create enough space in the living room for Alex's birthday party this weekend.
See also: chair, musical, play

grab a chair

 and grab a seat
Fig. to quickly sit down in a seat. Grab a chair and join the group!
See also: chair, grab

keep one's chair

 and keep one's seat
Fig. to stay seated; to remain in one's chair or place. That's all right. Keep your chair. I'll find my own way out. Please keep your seats until after the question-and-answer period.
See also: chair, keep

play first chair

1. to be the leader of a section of instruments in an orchestra or a band. (More literal than the following sense.) Sally learned to play the violin so well that she now plays first chair in the orchestra. I'm going to practice my flute so I can play first chair.
2. Fig. to act as a leader. I need to get this job done. Who plays first chair around here? You're not the boss! You don't play first chair.
See also: chair, first, play

Pull up a chair.

Please get a chair and sit down and join us. (Assumes that there is seating available. The speaker does not necessarily mean that the person spoken to actually has to move a chair.) Tom: Well, hello, Bob! Bob: Hi, Tom. Pull up a chair. The three men were sitting at a table for four. Bob came up and said hello. Bill said, "Pull up a chair." Bob sat in the fourth chair at the table.
See also: chair, pull, up

musical chairs, play

Move around from position to position, such as the jobs in an organization. For example, Bob took over for Tom, who took over for Mary, who got Bob's title-the boss loves to play musical chairs with the staff . This expression alludes to the children's game in which children walk around a number of seats while music plays, and there is one less chair than players. When the music stops the players must sit down, and the player who is left standing is eliminated. Then another chair is removed, and the game goes on until only one player is left sitting. [c. 1900]
See also: musical, play

keep you on the edge of your seat


keep you on the edge of your chair

If a film, programme or performance keeps you on the edge of your seat, it is very exciting and makes you watch with great concentration, wanting to know what will happen next. Based on the Stephen King book, it is the kind of story that keeps you on the edge of your seat throughout. Note: You can also say something has you on the edge of your seat or chair. Saturday night's final had the spectators on the edge of their seats. Note: You can also say edge-of-the-seat before a noun. It's a real action-packed edge-of-the-seat thriller.
See also: edge, keep, of, on, seat

on the ˌedge of your ˈseat/ˈchair

very excited and giving your full attention to something: The film was so exciting it had me on the edge of my seat right until the last moment.
See also: chair, edge, of, on, seat

the chair

n. the electric chair, as used in the execution of the death penalty. (Underworld.) You’ll fry in the chair for this, Lefty!
See also: chair
References in classic literature ?
The judge leaned back in his chair and beckoned to Mr.
His young fancy kindled at the idea of knowing all the adventures of this venerable chair.
Over the chair, he was dropped, and for a fraction of a second the posture was his of a man sitting in a chair.
In about half an hour, Tom woke up with a start, from a confused dream of tall men and tumblers of punch; and the first object that presented itself to his waking imagination was the queer chair.
But Colin had actually dropped back against his cushions, even though he gasped with delight, and he had covered his eyes with his hands and held them there shutting out everything until they were inside and the chair stopped as if by magic and the door was closed.
Adam started up from his chair and seized his hat, which lay on the table.
The brandy must have affected Dirkovitch, for he lay back in his chair and stared at the ceiling.
The cat, who had been a puzzled observer of these unusual movements, jumped up into Zeena's chair, rolled itself into a ball, and lay watching them with narrowed eyes.
We would find the hammer for him, and then he would have lost sight of the mark he had made on the wall, where the nail was to go in, and each of us had to get up on the chair, beside him, and see if we could find it; and we would each discover it in a different place, and he would call us all fools, one after another, and tell us to get down.
He judged by the cautious movements of those who crowded round the invalid chair that they had lifted the dying man and were moving him.
I have been wondering what the you meant by hanging around after me, giving the deck steward five shillings to put your chair next mine, and pretending to read, while all the time you were trying to overhear any scraps of conversation between my secretary and myself.
Baggs looked at it--lost in an instant some of the fine color plentifully diffused over her face by sleep and spirits--sat down in the nearest chair with a thump that seemed to threaten the very foundations of Number Two, Zion Place--and stared me hard in the face; the most speechless and helpless elderly female I ever beheld.
There--in the chair at the bedside--there, suddenly revealed under the flow of light from the candle, was the figure of a woman, reclining.
Taking a chair at the foot of the bed, she told me simply and unreservedly the sad secret of the darkened room.
A high chair on wheels moved by, through the field of red light, carrying a shadowy figure with floating hair, and arms furiously raised and lowered working the machinery that propelled the chair at its utmost rate of speed.