chief

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English[edit]

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Etymology[edit]

From Middle English, a borrowing from Old French chief(leader), from Vulgar Latin *capum (from which also captain, chieftain), from Latin caput(head) (English cap(head covering)), from Proto-Indo-European *kauput- (English head).

Pronunciation[edit]

Noun[edit]

chief ‎(plural chiefs)

  1. A leader or head of a group of people, organisation, etc. [from 13th c.]
    • 1994, Nelson Mandela, Long Walk to Freedom, Abacus 2010, p. 4:
      My father, Gadla Henry Mphakanyiswa, was a chief by both blood and custom.
    All firefighters report to the fire chief.
  2. (heraldry) The top part of a shield or escutcheon. [from 15th c.]
    • 1889, Charles Norton Elvin, A Dictionary of Heraldry:
      When the Chief is Charged with any figure, in blazon it is said to be "On a Chief".
  3. An informal address to an equal.
    Hey, chief.

Synonyms[edit]

Derived terms[edit]

Look at pages starting with chief.

Related terms[edit]

Translations[edit]

The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Help:How to check translations.

Adjective[edit]

chief ‎(not comparable)

  1. Primary; principal.
    Negligence was the chief cause of the disaster.

Translations[edit]

See also[edit]

Verb[edit]

chief ‎(third-person singular simple present chiefs, present participle chiefing, simple past and past participle chiefed)

  1. (US, slang) to smoke cannabis

Statistics[edit]

Most common English words before 1923: gentleman · persons · wrote · #610: chief · company · sweet · duty

Anagrams[edit]


Middle French[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From Old French chief.

Noun[edit]

chief m (plural chiefs)

  1. head

Descendants[edit]


Old French[edit]

Alternative forms[edit]

Etymology[edit]

First known attestation 881 in The Sequence of Saint Eulalia. From Vulgar Latin *capum, from Latin caput.

Pronunciation[edit]

Noun[edit]

chief m ‎(oblique plural chiés, nominative singular chiés, nominative plural chief)

  1. (anatomy) head
  2. leader, chief
  3. front (foremost side of something)

Descendants[edit]