commander in chief
- the supreme commander of the armed forces of a nation, as, in the U.S., the President
- an officer in command of all armed forces in a certain theater of war
Used by arrangement with John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
- The supreme commander of all the armed forces of a nation.
- The officer commanding a major armed force.
commander in chief - Cultural Definition
The role of the United States president as highest ranking officer in the armed forces. The Constitution provides this power, but, through the system of checks and balances, gives Congress the authority to declare war. During periods of war, presidents such as Franklin D. Roosevelt, Lyndon Johnson, George H. W. Bush, William Jefferson Clinton, and George W. Bush have taken active roles as commander in chief.