Meaning of “chieftain” in the English Dictionary

british dictionary

"chieftain" in British English

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chieftainnoun [ C ]

uk /ˈtʃiːf.tən/ us /ˈtʃiːf.tən/

Examples from literature

  • Both parties, under the chieftains' guidance, fought fiercely, in a fever of excitement, giving no heed to wounds, seeing nothing but the foe and the battlements to be scaled. 
  • He was a powerful chieftain, and there was an old feud between him and the men of Chester. 
  • He was straight American stock, but he was built like the chieftains of old Hawaii. 
  • Possibly they were intended to mark the graves of deceased chieftains. 
  • The messengers found the Saxon chieftains very ready to enter into Alfred's plans. 

(Definition of “chieftain” from the Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

"chieftain" in American English

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chieftainnoun [ C ]

us /ˈtʃif·tən/

the leader of a tribe (= a group of families)

(Definition of “chieftain” from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)