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Meaning of chief

chief

Pronunciation: (chēf), [key]
— n.
  1. the head or leader of an organized body of people; the person highest in authority: the chief of police.
  2. the head or ruler of a tribe or clan: an Indian chief.
  3. (cap.)a title of some advisers to the Chief of Staff, who do not, in most instances, command the troop units of their arms or services: Chief of Engineers; Chief Signal Officer.
  4. boss or leader: We'll have to talk to the chief about this.
    1. the upper area of an escutcheon.
    2. an ordinary occupying this area.
  5. editor in chief; commander in chief.
    1. in the chief position; highest in rank (used in combination):editor in chief; commander in chief.
    2. Heraldry.in the upper part of an escutcheon.
—adj.
  1. highest in rank or authority: the chief priest; the chief administrator.
  2. most important; principal: his chief merit; the chief difficulty.
—adv.
  1. chiefly; principally.
Random House Unabridged Dictionary, Copyright © 1997, by Random House, Inc., on Infoplease.
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