chief of staff

noun phrase

Definition of chief of staff

1 : the ranking officer of a staff in the armed forces serving as principal adviser to a commander
2 : the ranking officer of the army or air force and a member of the Joint Chiefs of Staff

First Known Use of chief of staff

1862, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Time Traveler

The first known use of chief of staff was in 1862

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Cite this Entry

“Chief of staff.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 3 Jun. 2020.

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chief of staff


English Language Learners Definition of chief of staff

: a person of high rank in the U.S. Army, Navy, Air Force, or Marines who advises the person in charge of military operations
: a person of high rank who advises a leader (such as the U.S. President) on important matters

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