chief

\ \ [13] Etymologically, the chief is the ‘head’.
\ \ The word comes via Old French chef or chief and Vulgar Latin *capum from Latin caputhead’.
\ \ The adjectival use is equally as old as the noun use in English. Other English offshoots of *capum are cape and, via the diminutive form *capitellus, cadet, and it also forms the basis of achieve. The form which has come through into modern French is, of course, chef, which entered English in the sense ‘cook’ (short for chef de cuisinehead of the kitchen’) in the 19th century. Chieftain [14] comes via Old French chevetaine from late Latin capitāneus (a derivative of caputhead’), which was later reborrowed as captain.
\ \ Cf.ACHIEVE, CADET, CAPE, CAPTAIN, CHEF

Word origins - 2ed. . 2005.

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  • chief# — chief n Chief, chieftain, head, headman, leader, master are comparable when they mean the person in whom resides authority or ruling power but they differ in their applications and associations. Chief is the most comprehensive of these terms,… …   New Dictionary of Synonyms

  • chief — chief; chief·dom; chief·ery; chief·ess; chief·less; chief·tain; chief·tain·cy; chief·tain·ess; chief·tain·ry; chief·tain·ship; chief·tess; co·chief; cov·er·chief; hand·ker·chief; head·ker·chief; ker·chief·like; mis·chief·ful; neck·er·chief;… …   English syllables

  • chief — I noun boss, captain, caput, chairman, chairperson, chief controller, chieftain, commandant, commander, directing head, director, dux, employer, foreman, foreperson, general, head, headman, headperson, highest ranking person, leader, manager,… …   Law dictionary

  • Chief — (ch[=e]n), n. [OE. chief, chef, OF. chief, F. chef, fr. L. caput head, possibly akin to E. head. Cf. {Captain}, {Chapter}] 1. The head or leader of any body of men; a commander, as of an army; a head man, as of a tribe, clan, or family; a person… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Chief — 〈[ tʃi:f] m. 6; umg.〉 Anführer, Chef ● wer ist hier der Chief? [engl.] * * * Chief [tʃi:f ], der; s, s [engl. chief < afrz. chief (= frz. chef), ↑ Chef]: engl. Bez. für: Leiter, Oberhaupt; Häuptling. * * * Chief …   Universal-Lexikon

  • chief — [chēf] n. [ME chef, chief, leader < OFr < VL * capum < L caput, HEAD] 1. the head or leader of a group, organization, etc.; person of highest title or authority 2. Archaic the most valuable or main part of anything 3. Heraldry the upper… …   English World dictionary

  • Chief — Chief, a. 1. Highest in office or rank; principal; head. Chief rulers. John. xii. 42. [1913 Webster] 2. Principal or most eminent in any quality or action; most distinguished; having most influence; taking the lead; most important; as, the chief… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Chief — [tʃi:f] der; s, s <aus gleichbed. engl. chief, dies aus altfr. chief (fr. chef), vgl. ↑Chef> engl. Bez. für Chef, Oberhaupt, Häuptling …   Das große Fremdwörterbuch

  • chief — c.1300 (n. and adj.), from O.Fr. chief leader, ruler, head of something, capital city (10c., Mod.Fr. chef), from L.L. capum, from L. caput head, also leader, chief, person, summit, capital city (Cf. Sp., Port. cabo, It. capo; see HEAD (Cf. head)) …   Etymology dictionary

  • chief — CIF/ s. m. şef, conducător. (< engl. chief) Trimis de raduborza, 15.09.2007. Sursa: MDN …   Dicționar Român

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