early 14c., cheftayne "ruler, chief, head" of something, from Anglo-French chiefteyn, Old French chevetain "captain, chief, leader," from Late Latin capitaneus "commander," from Latin capitis, genitive of caput "head" (from PIE root *kaput- "head"). Now mostly poetic or archaic; in "Rob Roy" (1818) a Highland chieftain was the head of a branch of a clan, a chief was the head of the whole name. Related: Chieftainship; chieftaincy.
It forms all or part of: achieve; behead; biceps; cabbage; cabochon; caddie; cadet; cap; cap-a-pie; cape (n.1) "garment;" cape (n.2) "promontory;" capital (adj.); capital (n.3) "head of a column or pillar;" capitate; capitation; capitulate; capitulation; capitulum; capo (n.1) "leader of a Mafia family;" capo (n.2) "pitch-altering device for a stringed instrument;" caprice; capsize; captain; cattle; caudillo; chapter; chef; chief; chieftain; corporal (n.); decapitate; decapitation; forehead; head; hetman; kaput; kerchief; mischief; occipital; precipice; precipitate; precipitation; recapitulate; recapitulation; sinciput; triceps.
It is the hypothetical source of/evidence for its existence is provided by: Sanskrit kaput-; Latin caput "head;" Old English heafod, German Haupt, Gothic haubiþ "head."
Pacific island, an indigenous name, said to be from the name of a Polynesian chieftain, or else meaning "place of the moa." Related: Samoan (by 1837).
central American republic, named for the region, visited 1522 by Spanish conquistador Gil González Dávila, who is said to have named it for a local native chieftain, Nicarao, with Spanish agua "water." Related: Nicaraguan.
South American country, named for the river, which is said to be from Guarani para "water" + guay "born." This is said to have been the name of a local chieftain who treated with the first Spanish explorers. Related: Paraguayan (1690s).
kind of red-skinned eating apples, 1874, named for John McIntosh (b. 1777), Ontario farmer who found them in 1796 while clearing woodland on his farm and began to cultivate them. The surname is Gaelic Mac an toisich "son of the chieftain."
"a family, a tribe," especially, among the Highlanders of Scotland, a form of social organization consisting of a tribe holding land in common under leadership of a chieftain, early 15c., from Gaelic clann "family, stock, offspring," akin to Old Irish cland "offspring, tribe," both from Latin planta "offshoot" (see plant (n.)).
The Goidelic branch of Celtic (including Gaelic) had no initial p-, so it substituted k- or c- for Latin p-. The same Latin word in (non-Goidelic) Middle Welsh became plant "children."
waterproof outer coat or cloak, 1836, named for Charles Macintosh (1766-1843), inventor of a waterproofing process (patent #4804, June 17, 1823). The Mcintosh type of apple was named for John McIntosh of Upper Canada, who began selling them in 1835. The surname is from Gaelic Mac an toisich "Son of the chieftain." As a name of a type of computer it is attested from 1982.
In an interview with The Wall Street Journal, [President and CEO A.C.] Markkula said "more than three new products" are scheduled to be announced within the next year. Among them will be a high-end, personal business computer code-named "Lisa" and a limited, less expensive business computer called "Mackintosh." [Computerworld, Oct. 18, 1982]