je·​fe ˈhā-(ˌ)fā How to pronounce jefe (audio) ˈhe-(ˌ)fā How to pronounce jefe (audio)
plural jefes
: a person who exercises control or authority : chief sense 2, leader sense 2
We caught Villa Rica on opening night, which meant a full staff eager to please—not to mention the jefe himself in the kitchen …Paul Stephen
In the House and Senate, Republicans are limited to six years as the jefe of any committee.Michael Shannon

Examples of jefe in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Many of my peers learned English from Scully — as my jefe Hector once wrote, there was no better teacher outside of Warner Bros. cartoons. Gustavo Arellano, Los Angeles Times, 3 Aug. 2022 Los Tigres del Norte Leave it to Los Tigres del Norte’s power anthem to get everyone on the dance floor feeling like a jefe (boss). Billboard Staff, Billboard, 4 May 2022 By April 18, the sometime ship mechanic Manuel Hedilla, acting head of the party, was elected its new jefe nacional by a narrow vote. Jesús Palacios, Slate Magazine, 9 Feb. 2017

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

Word History


Spanish, from French chef, from Old French chief — more at chief

First Known Use

1844, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of jefe was in 1844

Dictionary Entries Near jefe

Cite this Entry

“Jefe.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 2 Oct. 2023.

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