- a leader, especially an assertive leader; chief.
- to organize, supervise, or be the leader of: She volunteered to honcho the new project.
Origin of honcho
1945–50; < Japanese hanchō squad or group leader, equivalent to han squad (< Middle Chinese, equivalent to Chinese bān) + -chō eldest, chief (< Middle Chinese, equivalent to Chinese zhǎng)
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019
- the person in charge; the boss
- to supervise or be in charge of
Word Origin for honcho
C20: from Japanese han'chō group leader
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
1947, American English, "officer in charge," from Japanese hancho "group leader," from han "corps, squad" + cho "head, chief." Picked up by U.S. servicemen in Japan and Korea, 1947-1953.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper