chief / chēf/ • n. 1. a leader or ruler of a people or clan: the chief of the village. ∎ the person with the highest rank in an organization: the chief of police. ∎ an informal form of address, esp. to someone of superior rank or status: it's quite simple, chief.2. Heraldry an ordinary consisting of a broad horizontal band across the top of the shield. ∎ the upper third of the field.• adj. most important: the chief reason for the spending cuts. ∎ having or denoting the highest rank or authority: the government's chief adviser.DERIVATIVES: chief·dom / -dəm/ n.chief·ship / -ˌship/ n.
chief head man; (feudal law) in chief (OF. en chief, medL. in capite) holding or held immediately from the lord paramount XIII; †head, top XIV; (her.) in chief on the upper part of the shield XV. — (O)F. chef, †chief :- Rom. *capum, for L. caput HEAD. As adj. XIII, as in OF.; hence chiefly XIV.
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