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chief

A chief is a leader, often of a tribe or clan. Sometimes we call the president our "commander in chief."

A chief is the head honcho, the big cheese, 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. noun
    the head of a tribe or clan
    synonyms: chieftain, headman, tribal chief
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    examples:
    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)
    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
  2. noun
    a person who is in charge
    synonyms: head, top dog
    see moresee less
    types:
    show 39 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
  3. noun
    a person who exercises control over workers
    synonyms: boss, foreman, gaffer, honcho
    see moresee less
    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
  4. adjective
    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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