1

chief

adjective \ ˈchēf \
Updated on: 24 Apr 2018
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

Examples of chief in a Sentence

  1. the chief engineer on the project

  2. Her job is their chief source of income.

  3. He has many concerns, chief among them his health.

Recent Examples of chief from the Web

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.

Origin and Etymology of chief

see 3chief

2

chief

adverb
archaic

First Known Use of chief

14th century

in the meaning defined above

See Words from the same year
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3

chief

noun
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

chiefdom

play \-dəm\ noun

chiefship

play \-ˌship\ noun
in chief
: in the chief position or place often used in titles
  • commander in chief

Examples of chief in a Sentence

  1. the chief of the estate was left to the eldest son

  2. our chief is out on a business trip right now

Recent Examples of chief from the Web

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.

Origin and Etymology of chief

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


CHIEF Defined for English Language Learners

chief

  • : highest in rank or authority

  • : most important


chief

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


CHIEF Defined for Kids

1

chief

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

2

chief

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


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