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In my view, the Christian religion is the most important and one of the first things in which all children, under a free government ought to be instructed... No truth is more evident to my mind than that the Christian religion must be the basis of any government intended to secure the rights and privileges of a free people.
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1828 Noah Webster Dictionary
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1828.mshaffer.comWord [chief]

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chief

CHIEF, a.

1. Highest in office or rank; principal; as a chief priest; the chief butler. Gen 40:9.

Among the chief rulers, many believed on him. John 12.

2. Principal or most eminent, in any quality or action; most distinguished; having most influence; commanding most respect; taking the lead; most valuable; most important; a word of extensive use; as a country chief in arms.

The hand of the princes and rulers hath been chief in this trespass. Ezra 9.

Agriculture is the chief employment of men.

3. First in affection; most dear and familiar.

A whisperer separateth chief friends. Prov. 16.

CHIEF, n.

1. A commander; particularly a military commander; the person who heads an army; equivalent to the modern terms, commander or general in chief, captain general, or generalissimo. 1 Ch. 11.

2. The principal person of a tribe, family, or congregation, &c.

Num. 3. Job 29. Math. 20.

3. In chief, in English law, in capite. To hold land in chief is to hold it directly from the king by honorable personal services.

4. In heraldry, chief signifies the head or upper part of the escutcheon, from side to side, representing a mans head. In chief, imports something borne in this part.

5. In Spenser, it seems to signify something like achievement, a mark of distinction; as, chaplets wrought with a chief.

6. This word is often used, in the singular number, to express a plurality.

I took the chief of your tribes, wise men and known, and made them heads over you. Deut. 1:15.

These were the chief of the officers, that were over Solomons work. 1 Kings 9.

In these phrases, chief may have been primarily an adjective, that is, chief men, chief persons.

7. The principal part; the most or largest part, of one thing or of many.

The people took of the spoil, sheep and oxen, the chief of the things which should have been utterly destroyed. 1 Sam. 15.

He smote the chief of their strength. Ps. 68.

The chief of the debt remains unpaid.

CHIEF, adv. Chiefly.




Evolution (or devolution) of this word [chief]

1828 Webster1844 Webster1913 Webster

CHIEF, a.

1. Highest in office or rank; principal; as a chief priest; the chief butler. Gen 40:9.

Among the chief rulers, many believed on him. John 12.

2. Principal or most eminent, in any quality or action; most distinguished; having most influence; commanding most respect; taking the lead; most valuable; most important; a word of extensive use; as a country chief in arms.

The hand of the princes and rulers hath been chief in this trespass. Ezra 9.

Agriculture is the chief employment of men.

3. First in affection; most dear and familiar.

A whisperer separateth chief friends. Prov. 16.

CHIEF, n.

1. A commander; particularly a military commander; the person who heads an army; equivalent to the modern terms, commander or general in chief, captain general, or generalissimo. 1 Ch. 11.

2. The principal person of a tribe, family, or congregation, &c.

Num. 3. Job 29. Math. 20.

3. In chief, in English law, in capite. To hold land in chief is to hold it directly from the king by honorable personal services.

4. In heraldry, chief signifies the head or upper part of the escutcheon, from side to side, representing a mans head. In chief, imports something borne in this part.

5. In Spenser, it seems to signify something like achievement, a mark of distinction; as, chaplets wrought with a chief.

6. This word is often used, in the singular number, to express a plurality.

I took the chief of your tribes, wise men and known, and made them heads over you. Deut. 1:15.

These were the chief of the officers, that were over Solomons work. 1 Kings 9.

In these phrases, chief may have been primarily an adjective, that is, chief men, chief persons.

7. The principal part; the most or largest part, of one thing or of many.

The people took of the spoil, sheep and oxen, the chief of the things which should have been utterly destroyed. 1 Sam. 15.

He smote the chief of their strength. Ps. 68.

The chief of the debt remains unpaid.

CHIEF, adv. Chiefly.


CHIEF, a. [Fr. chef, the head, that is, the top or highest point; Norm. chief; Sp. xefe; Ir. ceap; It. capo. It is evidently from the same root as the L. caput, Gr. κεφαλη, and Eng. cape, but through the Celtic, probably from shooting, extending.]

  1. Highest in office or rank; principal; as, a chief priest; the chief butler. – Gen. xl. 9. Among the chief rulers, many believed on him. – John xii.
  2. Principal or most eminent, in any quality or action; most distinguished; having most influence; commanding most respect; taking the lead; most valuable; most important; a word of extensive use; as, a country chief in arms; agriculture is the chief employment of men. The hand of the princes and rulers hath been chief in this trespass. – Ezra ix.
  3. First in affection; most dear and familiar. A whisperer separateth chief friends. – Prov. xvi.

CHIEF, adv.

Chiefly.


CHIEF, n.

  1. A commander; particularly a military commander; the person who heads an army; equivalent to the modern terms, commander or general in chief, captain general, or generalissimo. – 1 Ch. xi.
  2. The principal person of a tribe, family, or congregation, &c. – Num. iii. Job xxix. Matth xx.
  3. In chief, in English law, in capite. To hold land in chief, is to hold it directly from the king by honorable personal services. – Blackstone.
  4. In heraldry, chief signifies the head or upper part of the escutcheon, from side to side; representing a man's head. In chief, imports something borne in this part. – Encyc.
  5. In Spenser, it seems to signify something like achievement, a mark of distinction; as, chaplets wrought with a chief. – Johnson.
  6. This word is often used in the singular number to express a plurality. I took the chief of your tribes, wise men and known, and made them heads over you. – Deut. i. 15. These were the chief of the officers, that were over Solomon's work. – 1 Kings ix. In these phrases, chief may have been primarily an adjective, that is, chief men, chief persons.
  7. The principal part; the most or largest part, of one thing or of many; as, the chief of the debt remains unpaid. The people took of the spoil, sheep and oxen, the chief the things which should have been utterly destroyed. – 1 Sam. xv. He smote the chief of their strength. – Ps. lxviii.

Chief
  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 in authority who directs the work of others; the principal actor or agent.
  2. Highest in office or rank; principal; head.

    "Chief rulers." John. xii. 42.
  3. The principal part; the most valuable portion.

    The chief of the things which should be utterly destroyed.
    1 Sam. xv. 21

  4. Principal or most eminent in any quality or action; most distinguished; having most influence; taking the lead; most important; as, the chief topic of conversation; the chief interest of man.
  5. The upper third part of the field. It is supposed to be composed of the dexter, sinister, and middle chiefs.

    In chief. (a) At the head; as, a commander in chief. (b) (Eng. Law) From the king, or sovereign; as, tenure in chief, tenure directly from the king.

    Syn. -- Chieftain; captain; general; commander; leader; head; principal; sachem; sagamore; sheik. -- Chief, chieftain, Commander, Leader. These words fluctuate somewhat in their meaning according to circumstances, but agree in the general idea of rule and authority. The term chief is now more usually applied to one who is a head man, leader, or commander in civil or military affairs, or holds a hereditary or acquired rank in a tribe or clan; as, the chief of police; the chief of an Indian tribe. A chieftain is the chief of a clan or tribe , or a military leader. A commander directs the movements of or has control over a body of men, as a military or naval force. A leader is one whom men follow, as in a political party, a legislative body, a military or scientific expedition, etc., one who takes the command and gives direction in particular enterprises.

  6. Very intimate, near, or close.

    [Obs.]

    A whisperer separateth chief friends.
    Prov. xvi. 28.

    Syn. -- Principal; head; leading; main; paramount; supreme; prime; vital; especial; great; grand; eminent; master.

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Chief

CHIEF, adjective

1. Highest in office or rank; principal; as a chief priest; the chief butler. Genesis 40:9.

Among the chief rulers, many believed on him. John 12:10.

2. Principal or most eminent, in any quality or action; most distinguished; having most influence; commanding most respect; taking the lead; most valuable; most important; a word of extensive use; as a country chief in arms.

The hand of the princes and rulers hath been chief in this trespass. Ezra 9:2.

Agriculture is the chief employment of men.

3. First in affection; most dear and familiar.

A whisperer separateth chief friends. Proverbs 16:28.

CHIEF, noun

1. A commander; particularly a military commander; the person who heads an army; equivalent to the modern terms, commander or general in chief captain general, or generalissimo. 1 Chronicles 11:6.

2. The principal person of a tribe, family, or congregation, etc.

Numbers 3:24. Job 29:25. Math. 20.

3. In chief in English law, in capite. To hold land in chief is to hold it directly from the king by honorable personal services.

4. In heraldry, chief signifies the head or upper part of the escutcheon, from side to side, representing a mans head. In chief imports something borne in this part.

5. In Spenser, it seems to signify something like achievement, a mark of distinction; as, chaplets wrought with a chief

6. This word is often used, in the singular number, to express a plurality.

I took the chief of your tribes, wise men and known, and made them heads over you. Deuteronomy 1:15.

These were the chief of the officers, that were over Solomons work. 1 Kings 9:23.

In these phrases, chief may have been primarily an adjective, that is, chief men, chief persons.

7. The principal part; the most or largest part, of one thing or of many.

The people took of the spoil, sheep and oxen, the chief of the things which should have been utterly destroyed. 1 Samuel 15:21.

He smote the chief of their strength. Psalms 68:1.

The chief of the debt remains unpaid.

CHIEF, adverb Chiefly.

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Word of the Day

chief

CHIEF, a.

1. Highest in office or rank; principal; as a chief priest; the chief butler. Gen 40:9.

Among the chief rulers, many believed on him. John 12.

2. Principal or most eminent, in any quality or action; most distinguished; having most influence; commanding most respect; taking the lead; most valuable; most important; a word of extensive use; as a country chief in arms.

The hand of the princes and rulers hath been chief in this trespass. Ezra 9.

Agriculture is the chief employment of men.

3. First in affection; most dear and familiar.

A whisperer separateth chief friends. Prov. 16.

CHIEF, n.

1. A commander; particularly a military commander; the person who heads an army; equivalent to the modern terms, commander or general in chief, captain general, or generalissimo. 1 Ch. 11.

2. The principal person of a tribe, family, or congregation, &c.

Num. 3. Job 29. Math. 20.

3. In chief, in English law, in capite. To hold land in chief is to hold it directly from the king by honorable personal services.

4. In heraldry, chief signifies the head or upper part of the escutcheon, from side to side, representing a mans head. In chief, imports something borne in this part.

5. In Spenser, it seems to signify something like achievement, a mark of distinction; as, chaplets wrought with a chief.

6. This word is often used, in the singular number, to express a plurality.

I took the chief of your tribes, wise men and known, and made them heads over you. Deut. 1:15.

These were the chief of the officers, that were over Solomons work. 1 Kings 9.

In these phrases, chief may have been primarily an adjective, that is, chief men, chief persons.

7. The principal part; the most or largest part, of one thing or of many.

The people took of the spoil, sheep and oxen, the chief of the things which should have been utterly destroyed. 1 Sam. 15.

He smote the chief of their strength. Ps. 68.

The chief of the debt remains unpaid.

CHIEF, adv. Chiefly.

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