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