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From chieftain +‎ -cy.



chieftaincy (plural chieftaincies)

  1. The position or period of rule of a chief.
    • 1969, Bessie Head, When Rain Clouds Gather, Heinemann 1995, pp. 40-41:
      At first Matenge had hated his brother because he felt the chieftaincy should be his, and this hatred drove him to overreach himself until he was discovered in a plot to assassinate his brother.
    • 1994, Nelson Mandela, Long Walk to Freedom, Abacus 2010, p. 22:
      The two principles that governed my life at Mqhekezweni were chieftaincy and the Church.
  2. The area or population ruled by a chief.
    • 2009 March 2, David W. Dunlap, “Broadway Traffic Cure Elusive Since the 1800s”, in New York Times[1]:
      And it does not help that the lowermost part of Broadway was originally laid out as a footpath by the people of the Wickquasgeck chieftaincy, long before Europeans arrived.