\ ˈshef \

Definition of chef 

1 : a skilled cook who manages the kitchen (as of a restaurant)

2 : cook

Keep scrolling for more

Other words from chef

chef intransitive verb
chefdom \-dəm \ noun

Synonyms for chef


cook, cooker

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

Examples of chef in a Sentence

The hotel's chef trained at the finest culinary institutes in Europe. He's the head chef at a five-star restaurant. a celebrity chef with her own TV show My friend is an excellent chef.
See More

Recent Examples on the Web

Every year, the IndyStar Wine & Food Experience gathers 30 of the best Indianapolis restaurants and chefs, puts them in one big, beautiful place and throws an all-you-can eat and drink party. Liz Biro, Indianapolis Star, "This deal gets you all-you-can-eat tastings from the best Indianapolis restaurants," 12 July 2018 Translating Salina’s agricultural heritage into a culinary movement for the island is what drives Capofaro’s 36-year-old chef, Ludovico De Vivo. Howie Kahn, Smithsonian, "These Volcanic, Italian Islands Have Been Beloved by Travelers Since Homeric Times," 11 July 2018 And Wynwood’s Alter, whose chef, Brad Kilgore, was a finalist for a 2018 James Beard award, will be offering a Spice dinner for the first time at his restaurant. Carlos Frías, miamiherald, "Miami Spice 2018 menus are out and your diet is officially over," 6 July 2018 But cobbler chef Rich Bennett says one item not in the recipe is the real key. Gabby Ferreira, sacbee, "Google Doodle showed recipes for all 50 states. ‘You done messed up,’ says Internet," 3 July 2018 The late princess’s former chef, Darren McGrady, shared with HELLO! Lucy Wood, Marie Claire, "Princess Diana's Birthday Surprise for 13-Year-Old Prince William Was Beyond Hilarious," 22 June 2018 Beyond just offering a good meal, these events create community, says chef and co-owner Joseph Nelson. Sarah Shemkus,, "5 marijuana-infused things to do in New England," 21 June 2018 Molino el Pujol, which opened in April, is the latest brainchild of Mexico’s most famous chef, Enrique Olvera, known for his fine dining restaurants Pujol in Mexico City and Cosme and Atla in New York. Hilary Cadigan, Bon Appetit, "In a Land of Tortilla Factories, Enrique Olvera’s New Tortilleria Is Doing It Old School," 20 June 2018 From food blogger to personal chef, Gabi Diamond has certainly come a long way. Christopher Rosa, Glamour, "These 11 New TV and Movie Premieres Are Too Good to Miss," 17 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'chef.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of chef

1826, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for chef

French, short for chef de cuisine head of the kitchen

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about chef

Statistics for chef

Last Updated

1 Sep 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for chef

The first known use of chef was in 1826

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for chef



English Language Learners Definition of chef

: a professional cook who usually is in charge of a kitchen in a restaurant

: a person who prepares food for people to eat


\ ˈshef \

Kids Definition of chef

1 : a professional cook who is usually in charge of a kitchen in a restaurant

2 : cook entry 1 My mom is a great chef.

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on chef

What made you want to look up chef? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


an open space surrounded by woods

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Name that Food Quiz

Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Word Winder's CrossWinder

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.


Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!