Etymology: (rfc-level, Etymology not at level 3)
- A leader of a clan or tribe.
- A leader of a group, e.g. a robbers' chieftain.
- (capitalized) The name of a British military tank.
From Middle English cheftayne, a variant of Old French chevetaine, from Late Latin capitaneus, from Latin caput, head. Chieftain is thus etymologically related to the word captain.
Supplemental Details:Sponsor an extended definition for chieftain for as little as $10 per month. Click here to contact us.