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chieftain

[ cheef-tuhn, -tin ]
/ ˈtʃif tən, -tɪn /
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noun

the chief of a clan or a tribe.
a leader of a group, band, etc.: the robbers' chieftain.
(initial capital letter)Military. Britain's main battle tank since 1969, fitted with a 120 mm gun and two machine guns and weighing 55 tons (50 metric tons).

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“Was” is used for the indicative past tense of “to be,” and “were” is only used for the subjunctive past tense.

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Origin of chieftain

First recorded in 1275–1325; Middle English cheftayne, variant of chevetaine, from Old French, from Late Latin capitāneus “chief”; see captain

OTHER WORDS FROM chieftain

chief·tain·cy, chief·tain·ship, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2021

Example sentences from the Web for chieftain

British Dictionary definitions for chieftain

chieftain
/ (ˈtʃiːftən, -tɪn) /

noun

the head or leader of a tribe or clan
the chief of a group of people

Derived forms of chieftain

chieftaincy or chieftainship, noun

Word Origin for chieftain

C14: from Old French chevetaine, from Late Latin capitāneus commander; see captain
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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