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[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.
1835-45; < French; see chief
Can be confused
chef, chief. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for chefs
  • But scientists aren't sure why these first chefs initially put food to fire.
  • chefs extract the flavorless cartilage needles, which add a gelatinous texture to the soup.
  • It was as if the dessert chefs had given up on dessert, too.
  • At the end, he turns the camera to one of his chefs, who blushes adorably.
  • In an hour or so, its flesh will be dispatched in parcels to the various sushi chefs who have chosen to buy it.
  • Apart from a giant foam-rubber model of a potato, the roadshow will include demonstrations of recipes by leading chefs.
  • Cooking is an occasional hobby and a vehicle for celebrity chefs.
  • Clearly, the labor-intensive food these chefs make will never be the food of the people.
  • Almost everything is bits of this and that if the chefs are doing their job right.
  • Restaurant chefs looking for the next wave of culinary inspiration embraced the food of the home and hearth.
British Dictionary definitions for chefs


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
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Contemporary definitions for chefs
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
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Word Origin and History for chefs



"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
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Slang definitions & phrases for chefs



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.
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