the head or leader of an organized body of people; the person highest in authority:
the chief of police.
the head or ruler of a tribe or clan:
an Indian chief.
(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.
Informal. boss or leader:
We’ll have to talk to the chief about this.
highest in rank or authority:
the chief priest; the chief administrator.
most important; principal:
his chief merit; the chief difficulty.
Archaic. ; principally.
the head, leader, or most important individual in a group or body of people
another word for chieftain (sense 2)
(heraldry) the upper third of a shield
in chief, primarily; especially
c.1300, “highest in rank or power; most important or prominent; supreme, best,” from Old French chief “chief, principal, first” (10c., Modern French chef), from Vulgar Latin *capum (also source of Spanish and Portuguese cabo, Italian capo, Provençal cap), from Latin caput “head,” also “leader, guide, chief person; summit; capital city” (see capitulum).
c.1300, “head, leader, captain; the principal or most important part of anything;” from Old French chief “leader, ruler, head” of something, “capital city” (10c., Modern French chef), from Vulgar Latin *capum, from Latin caput “head,” also “leader, chief person; summit; capital city” (see capitulum). Meaning “head of a clan” is from 1570s; later extended to American Indian tribes. Commander-in-chief attested from 1660s.
too many chiefs and not enough indians
noun 1. the president of the United States. 2. (lowercase) the governor of a U.S. state. 3. (lowercase) the head of a government. noun 1. the person with overall responsibility for the efficient running of a company, organization, etc
- Chief information officer
job (CIO) The person who determines the overall strategic direction and business contribution of the information systems function in a business. (2004-03-18)
- Chief joseph
Chief of Oregon’s Nez Perce Indians who led his people in the 1870s on a desperate attempt to reach Canada rather than submit to forcible settlement on a reservation. Forced to surrender to U.S. troops just south of the border, he reportedly stated: “Hear me my chiefs, I am tired: My heart is sick and […]
noun 1. Law. the presiding judge of a court having several members. 2. (initial capital letters). Official title Chief Justice of the United States. the presiding judge of the U.S. Supreme Court. noun 1. (in any of several Commonwealth countries) the judge presiding over a supreme court 2. (in the US) the presiding judge of […]