[ hon-choh ]
/ ˈhɒn tʃoʊ /

noun, plural hon·chos.

a leader, especially an assertive leader; chief.

verb (used with object)

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

British Dictionary definitions for honchoed


/ (ˈhɒntʃəʊ) informal, mainly US /

noun plural -chos

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

Word Origin and History for honchoed



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