- the upper area of an escutcheon.
- an ordinary occupying this area.
- in the chief position; highest in rank (used in combination): editor in chief; commander in chief.
- Heraldry.in the upper part of an escutcheon.
Origin of chief
Synonyms for chief
Antonyms for chief
Related Words for chieferprime, leading, main, preeminent, principal, head, superintendent, ruler, commander, director, manager, supervisor, captain, leader, superior, star, champion, grand, premier, major
- most important; principal
- highest in rank or authority
Word Origin for chief
c.1300, "highest in rank or power; most important or prominent; supreme, best," from Old French chief "chief, principal, first" (10c., Modern French chef), from Vulgar Latin *capum (also source of Spanish and Portuguese cabo, Italian capo, Provençal cap), from Latin caput "head," also "leader, guide, chief person; summit; capital city" (see capitulum).
c.1300, "head, leader, captain; the principal or most important part of anything;" from Old French chief "leader, ruler, head" of something, "capital city" (10c., Modern French chef), from Vulgar Latin *capum, from Latin caput "head," also "leader, chief person; summit; capital city" (see capitulum). Meaning "head of a clan" is from 1570s; later extended to American Indian tribes. Commander-in-chief attested from 1660s.