chief

A chief is a leader, often of a tribe or clan. Native American tribes are headed by chiefs, and sometimes we call the president our "commander in chief."

A chief is the head honcho, the big kahuna, the top dog. Tribes are lead by chiefs, but so are firefighters (fire chief), policeman (police chief), and companies (Chief Executive Officer or CEO). When used as an adjective, chief describes the most important element or main ingredient of something. You couldn't make mac and cheese without the chief ingredients: macaroni and cheese.

Definitions of chief
1

n the head of a tribe or clan

Synonyms:
chieftain, headman, tribal chief
Examples:
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Owen Glendower
Welsh chieftain who led a revolt against Henry IV's rule in Wales (1359-1416)
Hrolf
Norse chieftain who became the first duke of Normandy (860-931)
Makataimeshekiakiak
Sauk leader who in 1832 led Fox and Sauk warriors against the United States (1767-1838)
Cochise
Apache leader of the resistance to United States troops in Arizona (1812-1874)
Tashunca-Uitco
a chief of the Sioux who resisted the invasion of the Black Hills and joined Sitting Bull in the defeat of General Custer at Little Bighorn (1849-1877)
Geronimo
Apache chieftain who raided the white settlers in the Southwest as resistance to being confined to a reservation (1829-1909)
Hiawatha
a Native American chieftain who argued for peace with the European settlers (16th century)
Chief Joseph
leader of the Nez Perce in their retreat from United States troops (1840-1904)
Keokuk
Sauk leader who aided the United States against Black Hawk (1790-1848)
Massasoit
Wampanoag leader who aided the Pilgrims (1580-1661)
Wahunsonacock
Indian chief and founder of the Powhatan confederacy of tribes in eastern Virginia; father of Pocahontas (1550?-1618)
Rain-in-the-Face
a chief of the Sioux; he was with Sitting Bull and others at the Battle of Little Bighorn (1876) when General Custer's troops were massacred (1835-1905)
Red Cloud
leader of the Oglala who resisted the development of a trail through Wyoming and Montana by the United States government (1822-1909)
George Guess
Cherokee who created a notation for writing the Cherokee language (1770-1843)
Sitting Bull
a chief of the Sioux; took up arms against settlers in the northern Great Plains and against United States Army troops; he was present at the Battle of Little Bighorn (1876) when the Sioux massacred General Custer's troops (1831-1890)
Types:
Indian chief, Indian chieftain
the leader of a group of Native Americans
pendragon
the supreme war chief of the ancient Britons
sachem, sagamore
a chief of a North American tribe or confederation (especially an Algonquian chief)
Type of:
leader
a person who rules or guides or inspires others

n a person who is in charge

Synonyms:
head, top dog
Examples:
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Haman
(Old Testament) the minister of the Persian emperor who hated the Jews and was hanged for plotting to massacre them
Sir Thomas Stamford Raffles
British colonial administrator who founded Singapore (1781-1826)
Cesar Ritz
Swiss hotelier who created a chain of elegant hotels (1850-1918)
Petrus Stuyvesant
the last Dutch colonial administrator of New Netherland; in 1664 he was forced to surrender the colony to England (1592-1672)
Ahmed Zoki Yamani
Saudi Arabian minister of petroleum who was a central figure in the creation of OPEC (born in 1930)
Albert Gore Jr.
Vice President of the United States under Bill Clinton (born in 1948)
Types:
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administrator, executive
someone who manages a government agency or department
administrator, decision maker
someone who administers a business
capo
the head of a branch of an organized crime syndicate
department head
the head of a department
don, father
the head of an organized crime family
general, superior general
the head of a religious order or congregation
general manager
the highest ranking manager
grand dragon
a high ranking person in the Ku Klux Klan
head of household
the head of a household or family or tribe
secretary
a person who is head of an administrative department of government
academic administrator
an administrator in a college or university
commissioner
a government administrator
director, manager, managing director
someone who controls resources and expenditures
DCI, Director of Central Intelligence
the head of the United States Intelligence Community and director of the Central Intelligence Agency
executive, executive director
a person responsible for the administration of a business
hosteller, hotel manager, hotelier, hotelkeeper, hotelman
an owner or manager of hotels
land agent
a person who administers a landed estate
materfamilias, matriarch
a female head of a family or tribe
paterfamilias, patriarch
the male head of family or tribe
prefect
a chief officer or chief magistrate
Attorney General, US Attorney General, United States Attorney General
the person who holds the position of secretary of the Justice Department
Agriculture Secretary, Secretary of Agriculture
the person who holds the secretaryship of the Department of Agriculture
Commerce Secretary, Secretary of Commerce
the person who holds the secretaryship of the Department of Commerce
Defense Secretary, Secretary of Defense
the person who holds the secretaryship of the Defense Department
Education Secretary, Secretary of Education
the person who holds the secretaryship of the Department of Education
Energy Secretary, Secretary of Energy
the person who holds the secretaryship of the Department of Energy
Secretary of Health and Human Services
the person who holds the secretaryship of the Department of Health and Human Services
Secretary of Housing and Urban Development
the person who holds the secretaryship of the Department of Housing and Urban Development
Labor Secretary, Secretary of Labor
the person who holds the secretaryship of the Department of Labor
Secretary of State
the person who holds the secretaryship of the Department of State
Interior Secretary, Secretary of the Interior
the person who holds the secretaryship of the Interior Department
Secretary of the Treasury, Treasury Secretary
the person who holds the secretaryship of the Treasury Department
Secretary of Transportation, Transportation Secretary
the person who holds the secretaryship of the Department of Transportation
Secretary of Veterans Affairs
the person who holds the secretaryship of the Department of Veterans Affairs
Secretary General
a person who is a chief administrator (as of the United Nations)
security director
head of a private security force working for a business or industry
triumvir
one of a group of three sharing public administration or civil authority especially in ancient Rome
undersecretary
a secretary immediately subordinate to the head of a department of government
vice chancellor
a deputy or assistant to someone bearing the title of chancellor
Type of:
leader
a person who rules or guides or inspires others

n a person who exercises control over workers

Synonyms:
boss, foreman, gaffer, honcho
Types:
baas
South African term for `boss'
ganger
the foreman of a work gang
assistant foreman, straw boss
a member of a work gang who supervises the other workers
Type of:
supervisor
one who supervises or has charge and direction of

adj most important element

“the chief aim of living”
Synonyms:
main, master, primary, principal
important, of import
of great significance or value

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