chief of staff
n. pl. chiefs of staff
a. The ranking officer of the US Army, responsible to the secretary of the Army and to the president.
b. The ranking officer of the US Air Force, responsible to the secretary of the Air Force and to the president.
2. A senior military staff officer at the division level or higher.
3. The highest-ranking staff member at an institution or organization.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.