chieftain

noun chief·tain \ ˈchēf-tən \
Updated on: 18 Nov 2017

Definition of chieftain

: a chief especially of a band, tribe, or clan

chieftainship

play \-ˌship\ noun

Recent Examples of chieftain from the Web

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

Origin and Etymology of chieftain

Middle English chieftaine, from Anglo-French chevetain, from Late Latin capitaneus chief — more at captain


CHIEFTAIN Defined for English Language Learners

chieftain

noun

Definition of chieftain for English Language Learners

  • : a leader of a tribe or clan


CHIEFTAIN Defined for Kids

chieftain

noun chief·tain \ ˈchēf-tən \

Definition of chieftain for Students

: a chief especially of a band, tribe, or clan

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