Definition of chiefly in English:

chiefly

adverb

  • 1Above all; mainly.

    ‘he is remembered chiefly for his sonatas’
    • ‘Peeps are chiefly good as novelty items - they mark various holiday seasons, and they blow up spectacularly when you microwave them.’
    • ‘Their disputes were chiefly political, and mainly involved the Soviet Union and the United States hurling accusations of hypocrisy against each other.’
    • ‘The Chinese possession for which Victoria is chiefly remembered today is a small dog named Looty.’
    • ‘Increasingly, these programs have come to define their mission chiefly as supporting labor and its organizing efforts rather than educating students.’
    • ‘This biography is of general importance chiefly because it is, surprisingly, the first comprehensive biography of the artist.’
    • ‘Caesar, too, is remembered chiefly for having become a more or less military dictator.’
    • ‘Orlando di Lasso (or, perhaps more in keeping with his Walloon origins, Roland de Lassus) is remembered today chiefly for his sacred works.’
    • ‘The polling also makes clear that swing voters are chiefly concerned about the economy, and that has to make them more than a little nervous.’
    • ‘These centers were founded chiefly to make up for the appalling lack of art teaching in the conventional curriculum of black schools at that time.’
    • ‘We release ordinary criminals after some time chiefly because we hope that the term in prison has deterred them from repeating their crimes.’
    • ‘On those rare occasions when I made it to the gym at all, it was chiefly to avail myself of the steam room and the carwash-grade water pressure of the showers.’
    • ‘But anyone who knew these sophisticated scholars also knew that they were not chiefly motivated by a passion for curricular innovation.’
    • ‘Of course I follow the news, peeking at it for short periods but there is much I don't want to know, chiefly because I feel incapable of knowing it.’
    • ‘These must be chiefly, if not wholly, effects of the unsteadiness and injustice with which a factious spirit has tainted our public administrations.’
    • ‘To the extent that slaves were allowed personalities before the law, they were regarded chiefly - almost solely - as potential criminals.’
    • ‘I am chiefly interested in stuff that is extraordinary, better than similar products, little-known, and reliably useful for an individual or small group.’
    • ‘He is remembered chiefly for catching pneumonia during his lengthy inaugural address and, a month later, becoming the first president to die in office.’
    • ‘Today we use these systems, which are ubiquitous and affordable, chiefly for mundane economic screening, but they inevitably will be extended to track security as well.’
    • ‘These fans differ somewhat from the stereotypical science fiction fan; most significantly, the group is composed chiefly of women.’
    • ‘But one man's obsession with money, chiefly for himself, above spectacle has left the sport barren’
    mainly, in the main, primarily, principally, predominantly, above all, mostly, for the most part, first and foremost, especially, particularly, essentially, substantially
    usually, customarily, habitually, typically, commonly, generally, on the whole, largely, by and large, as a rule, in most instances, almost always, almost entirely, to a large extent, to a great degree
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 For the most part; mostly.
      ‘this group has consisted chiefly of conservatives’
      • ‘The dominance of the landed rural oligarchs had given way to that of a new conservative class consisting chiefly of the owners of protected industries.’
      • ‘It is not even possible to say this portfolio will not drop in value at some time but it is much, much safer than any portfolio consisting chiefly of common stocks.’
      • ‘There's a cynical story about scientific progress, that the balance shifted from the corpuscular to the wave theory of light chiefly because the advocates of the former theory had died.’
      • ‘In all four areas, government seemed to consist chiefly of administrative controls.’
      • ‘Biological products (which consist chiefly of larva-killing bacteria) as well as pesticide chemicals, may be used.’
      • ‘The exhibition while aimed chiefly at children will feature interactive and multi-media displays on Energy Saving and will be of interest to adults and children alike.’
      • ‘Its diet consists chiefly of vegetable matter, but it also eats small animals.’
      • ‘The young Sinclair showed an early talent for writing, though his initial work consisted chiefly of pulp fiction.’
      • ‘With there being so little pressure exerted over this particular stretch, the river bed consisted chiefly of hefty, head shaped boulders, with just a smattering of shale between each one.’
      • ‘It was not long ago that American architectural history consisted chiefly of biographies, thematic or typological studies, and synthetic surveys.’
      • ‘Indeed, the respiratory response to CO2 is usually considered to be chiefly automatic, although it may be altered by behavioral interferences.’
      • ‘Many demographic experts attribute the declining birth rate in recent years chiefly to young people's reluctance to marry because of heightening job insecurity.’
      • ‘The fine-grained matrix consists chiefly of gypsum, although traces of anhydrite may be present.’
      • ‘What this shows is that life cannot be composed just of matter and energy, but consists chiefly of information.’
      • ‘Consisting chiefly of high-energy protons and electrons produced by stars, black holes, and gamma-ray bursts, GCR is tough to defend against.’
      • ‘I once met an Algerian in Blackpool who expressed surprise that England consisted chiefly of carnival rides, ice-cream parlours and amusement arcades.’
      • ‘Such a world would be a true information economy, with trade consisting chiefly of blueprints for products.’
      • ‘In recent years, this group has consisted chiefly of conservatives unhappy with what they viewed as an unwarranted expansion of federal authority.’
      • ‘‘Climatic changes chiefly affect winters,’ she said.’
      • ‘However, economic analysts in the private sector are critical of the government's unrealistic confidence in the economy, chiefly based on continuing robust shipments.’

Pronunciation

chiefly

/ˈCHēflē/