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chief

[ cheef ]
/ tʃif /
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See synonyms for: chief / chiefest on Thesaurus.com

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 about 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

First recorded in 1250–1300; Middle English, from Anglo-French chief, chef, Old French chef, from unattested Vulgar Latin capum, re-formation of Latin caput head

synonym study for chief

7. See capital1.

usage note for chief

See powwow.

OTHER WORDS FROM chief

chief·less, adjectivechief·ship, nounsub·chief, 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. 2023

How to use chief in a sentence

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
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