chief

[cheef]
noun
1.
the head or leader of an organized body of people; the person highest in authority: the chief of police.
2.
the head or ruler of a tribe or clan: an Indian chief.
3.
(initial capital letter) U.S. Army. a title of some advisers to the Chief of Staff, who do not, in most instances, command the troop units of their arms or services: Chief of Engineers; Chief Signal Officer.
4.
Informal. boss or leader: We'll have to talk to the chief about this.
5.
Heraldry.
a.
the upper area of an escutcheon.
b.
an ordinary occupying this area.
adjective
6.
highest in rank or authority: the chief priest; the chief administrator.
7.
most important; principal: his chief merit; the chief difficulty.
adverb
8.
Archaic. chiefly; principally.
Idioms
9.
in chief,
a.
in the chief position; highest in rank (used in combination): editor in chief; commander in chief.
b.
Heraldry. in the upper part of an escutcheon.

Origin:
1250–1300; Middle English < Anglo-French chief, chef, Old French chef < Vulgar Latin *capum, re-formation of Latin caput head

chiefless, adjective
chiefship, noun
subchief, noun
underchief, noun

chef, chief.


7. foremost, leading, prime, paramount, cardinal. See capital1.


6. subordinate.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
chief (tʃiːf)
 
n
1.  the head, leader, or most important individual in a group or body of people
2.  another word for chieftain
3.  heraldry the upper third of a shield
4.  in chief primarily; especially
 
adj
5.  (prenominal)
 a.  most important; principal
 b.  highest in rank or authority
 
adv
6.  archaic principally
 
[C13: from Old French, from Latin caput head]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

chief
c.1300 (n. and adj.), from O.Fr. chief "leader, ruler, head" (of something), from L.L. capum, from L. caput "head" (see head).
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang Dictionary

chief definition


  1. n.
    the person in charge. (Also a term of address.) : You got a couple of clams to pay the toll with, chief?
Dictionary of American Slang and Colloquial Expressions by Richard A. Spears.Fourth Edition.
Copyright 2007. Published by McGraw-Hill Education.
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Example sentences
Bossier had to ask permission from other chiefs to form his own tribe.
He translates the stories of the elder chiefs, becoming the link to the ancient
  traditions of the pre-reservation generation.
College chiefs have to be careful to adopt the right tone when discussing the
  recession with trustees and professors.
Although not quite celebrities, campus chiefs are public figures.
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