chief

[ cheef ]
/ tʃif /

noun

adjective

highest in rank or authority: the chief priest; the chief administrator.
most important; principal: his chief merit; the chief difficulty.

adverb

Archaic. chiefly; principally.

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Idioms for chief

    in chief,
    1. in the chief position; highest in rank (used in combination): editor in chief; commander in chief.
    2. Heraldry. in the upper part of an escutcheon.

Origin of chief

1250–1300; Middle English <Anglo-French chief, chef,Old French chef<Vulgar Latin *capum, re-formation of Latin caputhead

synonym study for chief

7. See capital1.

OTHER WORDS FROM chief

chiefless, adjectivechiefship, nounsubchief, nounun·der·chief, noun

WORDS THAT MAY BE CONFUSED WITH chief

chef, chief .
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020

Example sentences from the Web for chief

British Dictionary definitions for chief

chief
/ (tʃiːf) /

noun

the head, leader, or most important individual in a group or body of people
another word for chieftain (def. 2)
heraldry the upper third of a shield
in chief primarily; especially

adjective

(prenominal)
  1. most important; principal
  2. highest in rank or authority

adverb

archaic principally

Word Origin for chief

C13: from Old French, from Latin caput head
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012