chief

adjective
\ ˈchēf How to pronounce chief (audio) \

Definition of chief

 (Entry 1 of 3)

1 : accorded highest rank or office chief librarian the company's chief executive
2 : of greatest importance or influence the chief reasons their chief accomplishment

chief

adverb

Definition of chief (Entry 2 of 3)

archaic

chief

noun

Definition of chief (Entry 3 of 3)

1 : the upper part of a heraldic field
2 : the head of a body of persons or an organization : leader chief of police
3 : the principal or most valuable part would never rest till she had read the chief of the letter to him— Jane Austen
in chief
: in the chief position or place often used in titles commander in chief

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Other Words from chief

Noun

chiefship \ ˈchēf-​ˌship How to pronounce chief (audio) \ noun

Examples of chief in a Sentence

Adjective the chief engineer on the project Her job is their chief source of income. He has many concerns, chief among them his health. Noun the chief of the estate was left to the eldest son our chief is out on a business trip right now
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Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective And variant activity is also on the rise, Dr. Bruce Vanderhoff, the chief medical officer at the Ohio Department of Health, said. Christina Maxouris, CNN, "These are the two key things that can help curb another Covid-19 surge, Fauci says," 4 Apr. 2021 Geiger, who is now the owner of the Maker Marketing firm and the chief digital officer of Edoc Service, was a multiyear captain of the UC women's soccer team and earned a degree in journalism. Keith Jenkins, The Enquirer, "Longtime UC faculty athletics representative Nancy Hamant dies at 85," 4 Apr. 2021 The office of Kathy Koch, chief communications officer for Broward Schools, acknowledged a request for comment Thursday but did not provide one. Scott Travis, sun-sentinel.com, "Teacher wrongly fired for calling kids ‘brat’ and ‘dummy,’ judge says," 3 Apr. 2021 Alon Gal, the co-founder and chief technology officer of the private cybercrime intelligence firm Hudson Rock, first posted about the data breach early Saturday morning on social media platforms, including Twitter and LinkedIn. Steve Rubenstein, San Francisco Chronicle, "Half a billion Facebook users may have had their personal information hacked," 3 Apr. 2021 Those appointed as general authority Seventies include: • Sean Douglas, executive vice president and chief financial officer at Huntsman Corp. Kathy Stephenson, The Salt Lake Tribune, "LDS Church names new Primary presidency and general authorities," 3 Apr. 2021 He was named president and chief operating officer in 2004 and president and chief executive officer in 2006. Washington Post, "Thomas F. Farrell II, former CEO of Virginia-based Dominion Energy, dies at 66," 3 Apr. 2021 Chaim [Bloom, chief baseball officer] has done a tremendous job of starting to strengthen the club, especially with regards to depth. BostonGlobe.com, "Red Sox owners John Henry and Tom Werner break their silence with radio interview," 3 Apr. 2021 Tekedra Mawakana, a lawyer who had been Waymo's chief operating officer, will handle the business side of the operation. CBS News, "CEO of Google self-driving car spinoff Waymo is stepping down," 3 Apr. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun This was an apparent reference to Saturday’s events when Jordan’s army chief visited Hamzah and — according to the prince’s description — imposed restrictions on his movement and ability to communicate with the outside world. Bassem Mroue, Anchorage Daily News, "Mediation resolves feuding in Jordan’s royal family, lawyer says," 5 Apr. 2021 Within the administration, John Barros, the city’s economic chief at the time and now mayoral candidate, has been among its biggest champions. BostonGlobe.com, "Can Boston’s new ‘All Inclusive’ tourism campaign help change its racist image?," 5 Apr. 2021 Editor Beryl Love, government/politics editor Carl Weiser and statehouse bureau chief Jackie Borchardt will answer your questions at noon Thursday. Jordan Kellogg, The Enquirer, "Last chance to register to vote and more stories to know as you start your week," 5 Apr. 2021 The improvements are numerous over the previous-gen 86, chief among them the larger-displacement flat-four engine. Joey Capparella, Car and Driver, "2022 Toyota GR 86 Keeps the RWD Sports-Car Spirit Alive," 5 Apr. 2021 Safadi said Hamzah was warned Saturday by the country’s military chief to halt his activities but rejected the request. Time, "Jordan's King Sends a Tough Message on Dissent in the Royal Family," 5 Apr. 2021 Arradondo, the city's first Black chief, fired Chauvin and three other officers the day after Floyd's death. Fox News, "LIVE UPDATES: Derek Chauvin trial continues Monday," 5 Apr. 2021 First Yang Jiechi, the Communist Party's foreign-policy chief, lectured American diplomats at a bilateral meeting in Alaska, pointing out the failings of American democracy. Star Tribune, "China is awaiting the downward spiral of the U.S.," 4 Apr. 2021 Arradondo, the city's first Black police chief, fired Chauvin and the three other officers involved in Floyd's arrest on May 26 — a day after Floyd's death. NBC News, "Derek Chauvin trial live: Stream and updates on George Floyd's death," 4 Apr. 2021

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

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First Known Use of chief

Adjective

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Adverb

14th century, in the meaning defined above

Noun

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for chief

Noun and Adjective

Middle English, from Anglo-French chief, chef head, chief, from Latin caput head — more at head

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Time Traveler for chief

Time Traveler

The first known use of chief was in the 14th century

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Statistics for chief

Last Updated

7 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Chief.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/chief. Accessed 18 Apr. 2021.

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More Definitions for chief

chief

adjective

English Language Learners Definition of chief

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: highest in rank or authority
: most important

chief

noun

English Language Learners Definition of chief (Entry 2 of 2)

: the person who is the leader of a group of people, of an organization, etc.

chief

noun
\ ˈchēf How to pronounce chief (audio) \

Kids Definition of chief

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: the head of a group : leader the chief of police
in chief
: in the highest ranking position or place editor in chief

chief

adjective

Kids Definition of chief (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : highest in rank or authority chief executive
2 : most important : main a chief reason

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Comments on chief

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