Château (plural châteaux; French pronunciation: [ʃɑto] for both the singular and the plural) or chateau is a manor house or residence of the lord of the manor or a country house of nobility or gentry, with or without fortifications, originally—and still most frequently—in French-speaking regions. The word château is also used for castles in French, so where clarification is needed, the term château fort is used to describe a castle, such as Château fort de Roquetaillade. Care should be taken when translating the word château into English. It is not used in the same way as "castle", and most châteaux are described in English as "palaces" or "country houses" rather than "castles". For example, the Château de Versailles is so called because it was located in the countryside when it was built, but it does not bear any resemblance to a castle, so it is usually known in English as the Palace of Versailles.
The urban counterpart of château is palais, which in French is applied only to grand houses in a city. This usage is again different from that of the term "palace" in English, where there is no requirement that a palace must be in a city, but the word is rarely used for buildings other than the grandest royal residences. The expression hôtel particulier is used for an urban "private house" of a grand sort.