chief of state

noun phrase

: the formal head of a national state as distinguished from the head of the government

Examples of chief of state in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The strong prospect of a female chief of state in Mexico comes after years of political gains for women. Patrick J. McDonnell, Los Angeles Times, 7 Sep. 2023 Then, in June 1940, France fell to Nazi Germany, and the Socialists voted to support Philippe Pétain as chief of state of the French government at Vichy. James E. Cronin, Foreign Affairs, 10 Dec. 2019

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'chief of state.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1948, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of chief of state was in 1948

Dictionary Entries Near chief of state

Cite this Entry

“Chief of state.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 25 May. 2024.

Kids Definition

chief of state

: the head of a country when not the same person as the head of the country's government
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