Try Our Apps


Supposedly vs. Supposably


[shef] /ʃɛf/
the chief cook, especially in a restaurant or hotel, usually responsible for planning menus, ordering foodstuffs, overseeing food preparation, and supervising the kitchen staff.
any cook.
Origin of chef
1835-45; < French; see chief
Can be confused
chef, chief. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
Cite This Source
Examples from the Web for chef
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Whereupon the chef sprang to his feet and faced the court with blazing eyes.

    Comrades Thomas Dixon
  • You have to wait a little time perhaps, because the chef is out Sunday evening.

    If Winter Don't Barry Pain
  • His chef d'œuvre of skill was an imitation point-lace cravat, which he carved at Chatsworth for the Duke of Devonshire.

    Old and New London Walter Thornbury
  • No; the chef was an editor and a statesman in the time of the war.

    In Madeira Place Heman White Chaplin
  • The arrival of the chef and his important witness, Miss Kingscott, accelerated movements.

    Caught in a Trap John C. Hutcheson
British Dictionary definitions for chef


a cook, esp the principal cook in a restaurant
Word Origin
C19: from French, from Old French chief head, chief
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
Cite This Source
Contemporary definitions for chef
intransitive verb

to cook, esp. in a skilled or professional manner

Word Origin


Usage Note

cheffed, cheffing's 21st Century Lexicon
Copyright © 2003-2014, LLC
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for chef

"head cook," 1830, from French chef, short for chef de cuisine, literally "head of the kitchen," from Old French chief "leader, ruler, head" (see chief (n.)).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source
Slang definitions & phrases for chef



A person who prepares opium for smoking (1911+ Narcotics)

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for chef

Most English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for chef

Scrabble Words With Friends

Nearby words for chef