chieftain Tweet Definition of chieftain Like Definition of chieftain on Facebook
  1. A leader of a clan or tribe.
  2. A leader of a group, e.g. a robbers' chieftain.
  3. (capitalized) The name of a British military tank.
    Etymology: (rfc-level, Etymology not at level 3)
    • 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.

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