UK:*UK and possibly other pronunciationsUK and possibly other pronunciations/ˈhɛd/US:USA pronunciation: IPA and respellingUSA pronuncation: IPA/hɛd/ ,USA pronunciation: respelling(hed)

WordReference Random House Learner's Dictionary of American English © 2020
head /hɛd/USA pronunciation   n. [countable]
  1. Anatomythe upper part of the body, containing the skull with mouth, eyes, ears, nose, and brain:Nod your head.
  2. the head as the center of the intellect or as the controlling part of one's emotions;
    the mind:a good head for mathematics.
  3. the position or place of leadership, greatest authority, or honor:at the head of her class.
  4. a person in charge of others;
    chief:the head of the household.
  5. the part of anything thought of as forming the top or upper end:the head of a pin.
  6. the front end of something:the head of a procession.
  7. a person or animal considered as one of a number, herd, or group:[singular]ten head of cattle.
  8. a critical point in an activity where something must be done:to bring matters to a head.
  9. froth or foam at the top of a liquid:the head on a glass of beer.
  10. Botanyany dense flower cluster on a plant:a head of cabbage.
  11. Pathologythe top part of an abscess, boil, etc.
  12. Geographyheadland.
  13. CurrencyAlso, heads. the side of a coin that has a head or other principal figure (opposed to tail ).
  14. the source of a river or stream:The head of the Mississippi River is in Minnesota.
  15. Drugs, Slang Terms[Slang.]
    • a habitual user of an illegal drug (often used in combination with a noun):an acid-head.
  16. a toilet, esp. on a boat or ship.
  17. Hydraulicspressure:a head of steam.
  18. Sound Reproductionany of the parts of a tape recorder that record, play back, or erase magnetic signals on audiotape or videotape.

adj. [before a noun]
  1. first in rank or position:head cook.
  2. of or for the head (often used in combination with a noun):a head covering.
  3. Slang Termsof or relating to drugs, drug paraphernalia, or drug users:a head shop.

  1. to go at the head of or in front of:[+ object]She headed the parade.
  2. to be in charge of:[~ (+ up) + object]to head (up) a school.
  3. to (cause to) move forward toward a point specified: [no object]The bus headed out of town.[+ object]I'll head the boat for shore.
  4. head for, [+ for + object] to move toward (something):heading for disaster.
  5. head off, to get in the path of or in front of in order to stop or turn aside;
    intercept: [+ off + object]We headed off the robbers at the pass.[+ object + off]We headed them off.
  1. Idiomscome to a head, to reach a critical point.
  2. Idiomsget one's head together, [no object] to get oneself under control:Get your head together and stop dreaming.
  3. Idiomsgo over someone's head, [no object] to appeal to the superior of someone's own official superior:He angered his boss by going over his head to the president about his troubles.
  4. Idiomsgo to one's head: 
    • to overcome a person with a feeling of joy or drunkenness:The liquor went straight to her head.
    • to fill one with conceit:Don't let your recent success go to your head.
  5. Idiomshang or hide one's head, to show a feeling of shame.
  6. Idiomshead and shoulders, by an impressively great amount:head and shoulders above the rest in talent.
  7. head over heels: 
    • Idiomsheadlong, as in a somersault:He fell head over heels into the pool.
    • Idiomsintensely;
      completely:head over heels in love.
  8. Idiomshead to head, in direct opposition or competition:The two candidates went head to head in the primary.
  9. Idiomskeep one's head, to remain calm and effective:The pilot kept her head when the plane lost power.
  10. Idiomskeep one's head above water, to have enough money to continue to live or survive.
  11. Idiomslay or put heads together, [no object] to meet in order to consult or scheme:Let's put our heads together and see if there's some way we can work out a solution.
  12. Idiomslose one's head, to become uncontrolled or wildly excited.
  13. Idiomsmake head(s) or tail(s) of, [with a negative word or phrase;  ~ + object] to understand or interpret to even a small extent:I can't make heads or tails of your message.
  14. Idiomsmake heads roll, [no object] to dismiss numbers of employees:The boss is going to make heads roll unless she gets results.
  15. Idiomsone's head off, extremely;
    excessively:to laugh one's head off.
  16. Idiomson one's head, as one's responsibility or fault:It will be on his head if the plan fails.
  17. Idiomsout of one's head or mind: 
    • insane;
  18. Idiomsover one's head, beyond one's understanding, ability, or resources.

head•ed, adj. 
head•less, adj. 

WordReference Random House Unabridged Dictionary of American English © 2020
head  (hed),USA pronunciation n. 
  1. Anatomythe upper part of the body in humans, joined to the trunk by the neck, containing the brain, eyes, ears, nose, and mouth.
  2. Zoologythe corresponding part of the body in other animals.
  3. the head considered as the center of the intellect, as of thought, memory, understanding, or emotional control;
    brain:She has a good head for mathematics. Keep a cool head in an emergency.
  4. the position or place of leadership, greatest authority, or honor.
  5. a person to whom others are subordinate, as the director of an institution or the manager of a department;
    leader or chief.
  6. a person considered with reference to his or her mind, disposition, attributes, status, etc.:wise heads; crowned heads.
  7. that part of anything that forms or is regarded as forming the top, summit, or upper end:head of a pin; head of a page.
  8. the foremost part or front end of anything or a forward projecting part:head of a procession.
  9. the part of a weapon, tool, etc., used for striking:the head of a hammer.
  10. a person or animal considered merely as one of a number, herd, or group:ten head of cattle; a dinner at $20 a head.
  11. a culminating point, usually of a critical nature;
    crisis or climax:to bring matters to a head.
  12. Anatomythe hair covering the head:to wash one's head.
  13. froth or foam at the top of a liquid:the head on beer.
  14. [Bot.]
    • Botanyany dense flower cluster or inflorescence. See illus. under  inflorescence. 
    • Botanyany other compact part of a plant, usually at the top of the stem, as that composed of leaves in the cabbage or lettuce, of leafstalks in the celery, or of flower buds in the cauliflower.
  15. Pathologythe maturated part of an abscess, boil, etc.
  16. a projecting point of a coast, esp. when high, as a cape, headland, or promontory.
  17. Currencythe obverse of a coin, as bearing a head or other principal figure (opposed to tail).
  18. one of the chief parts or points of a written or oral discourse;
    a main division of a subject, theme, or topic.
  19. something resembling a head in form or a representation of a head, as a piece of sculpture.
  20. the source of a river or stream.
  21. Drugs, Slang Terms[Slang.]
    • a habitual user of a drug, esp. LSD or marijuana (often used in combination):feds versus the heads;an acid-head;a pothead.
    • a fan or devotee (usually used in combination):a punk-rock head; a chili head.
  22. Wineheads, [Distilling.]alcohol produced during the initial fermentation. Cf. tail1 (def. 6d).
  23. Printingheadline.
  24. a toilet or lavatory, esp. on a boat or ship.
  25. Nautical, Naval Terms
    • the forepart of a vessel;
    • the upper edge of a quadrilateral sail.
    • the upper corner of a jib-headed sail. See diag. under  sail. 
    • Naval Termsthat part of the upper end of one spar of a mast that is overlapped by a spar above;
      a doubling at the upper end of a spar.
    • Naval Termsthat part of the upper end of a mast between the highest standing rigging and the truck.
    • crown (def. 28).
  26. Grammar
    • the member of an endocentric construction that belongs to the same form class and may play the same grammatical role as the construction itself.
    • the member upon which another depends and to which it is subordinate. In former presidents, presidents is head and former is modifier.
  27. Music and Dancethe stretched membrane covering the end of a drum or similar musical instrument.
  28. Mininga level or road driven into solid coal for proving or working a mine.
  29. Mechanical Engineering[Mach.]any of various devices on machine tools for holding, moving, indexing, or changing tools or work, as the headstock or turret of a lathe.
  30. Rail Transportrailhead (def. 3).
  31. Hydraulics(loosely) the pressure exerted by confined fluid:a head of steam.
  32. HydraulicsAlso called  pressure head. 
    • the vertical distance between two points in a liquid, as water, or some other fluid
    • the pressure differential resulting from this separation, expressed in terms of the vertical distance between the points.
    • the pressure of a fluid expressed in terms of the height of a column of liquid yielding an equivalent pressure.
  33. Sound Reproduction, Electronics, ElectricityAlso called  magnetic head. [Electronics.]the part or parts of a tape recorder that record, play back, or erase magnetic signals on magnetic tape. Cf. erasing head, playback head, recording head.
  34. ComputingSee  read/write head. 
  35. [Photog.]
    • Photographya mounting for a camera, as on a tripod.
    • Photographythe part of an enlarger that contains the light source, negative carrier, lensboard, and lens.
  36. Slang Terms(vulgar). fellatio.
  37. [Archaic.]power, strength, or force progressively gathered or gradually attained.
  38. Nauticalby or  down by the head, so loaded as to draw more water forward than aft.
  39. Idiomscome to a head: 
    • to suppurate, as a boil.
    • to reach a crisis;
      culminate:The struggle for power came to a head.
  40. Idiomsget one's head together, [Slang.]to have one's actions, thoughts, or emotions under control or in order:If he'd get his head together, maybe he'd get to work on time.
  41. Slang Termsgive head, Slang (vulgar). perform fellatio.
  42. Idiomsgive someone his or  her head, to permit someone to do as he or she likes;
    allow someone freedom of choice:She wanted to go away to college, and her parents gave her her head.
  43. Idiomsgo to someone's head: 
    • to make someone dizzy or drunk;
      overcome one with excitement:Power went to his head. The brandy went to his head.
    • to make someone conceited or self-important:Success went to his head.
  44. Idiomshang one's head, to become dejected or ashamed:When he realized what an unkind thing he had done, he hung his head in shame.Also,  hide one's head. 
  45. Idiomshead and shoulders: 
    • Idiomsfar better, more qualified, etc.;
      superior:In intelligence, he was head and shoulders above the rest of the children in the class.
    • [Archaic.]by force.
  46. head over heels: 
    • Idiomsheadlong, as in a somersault:He tripped and fell head over heels into the gully.
    • Idiomsintensely;
      completely:head over heels in love.
    • Idiomsimpulsively;
      carelessly:They plunged head over heels into the fighting.
  47. heads up! [Informal.]be careful! watch out for danger!
  48. Idiomshead to head, in direct opposition or competition:The candidates will debate head to head.
  49. Idiomskeep one's head, to remain calm or poised, as in the midst of crisis or confusion:It was fortunate that someone kept his head and called a doctor.
  50. Idiomskeep one's head above water, to remain financially solvent:Despite their debts, they are managing to keep their heads above water.
  51. Idiomslay or  put heads together, to meet in order to discuss, consult, or scheme:Neither of them had enough money for a tour of Europe, so they put their heads together and decided to find jobs there.
  52. Idiomslose one's head, to become uncontrolled or wildly excited:When he thought he saw an animal in the underbrush, he lost his head and began shooting recklessly.
  53. Idiomsmake head, to progress or advance, esp. despite opposition;
    make headway:There have been many delays, but we are at last making head.
  54. Idiomsmake heads roll, to exert authority by firing or dismissing employees or subordinates:He made heads roll as soon as he took office.
  55. Idiomsnot make head or tail of, to be unable to understand or decipher:We couldn't make head or tail of the strange story.Also,  not make heads or tails of. 
  56. Idiomsoff the top of one's head, candidly or extemporaneously:Off the top of my head, I'd say that's right.
  57. Idiomsone's head off, extremely;
    excessively:We screamed our heads off at that horror movie. He laughed his head off at the monkey's antics.
  58. Idiomson one's head, as one's responsibility or fault:Because of his reckless driving he now has the deaths of three persons on his head.
  59. Idiomsout of one's head or  mind: 
    • insane;
    • [Informal.]delirious;
      irrational:You're out of your head if you accept those terms.
  60. Idiomsover one's head: 
    • beyond one's comprehension, ability, or resources:The classical allusion went right over his head.
    • beyond one's financial resources or ability to pay:He's lost over his head in that poker game.
  61. Idiomsover someone's head, to appeal to someone having a superior position or prior claim:She went over her supervisor's head and complained to a vice president.
  62. British Terms, Idiomspull one's head in, [Australian Slang.]to keep quiet or mind one's own business;
    shut up.
  63. Idiomstake it into one's head, to form a notion, purpose, or plan:She took it into her head to study medicine.Also,  take into one's head. 
  64. Idiomsturn someone's head: 
    • to cause someone to become smug or conceited:Her recent success has completely turned her head.
    • to cause one to become foolish or confused:A whirlwind romance has quite turned his head.

  1. first in rank or position;
    principal:a head official.
  2. of, pertaining to, or for the head (often used in combination):head covering;headgear;headpiece.
  3. situated at the top, front, or head of anything (often used in combination):headline; headboard.
  4. Nautical, Naval Termsmoving or coming from a direction in front of the head or prow of a vessel:head sea;head tide;head current.
  5. Slang Termsof or pertaining to drugs, drug paraphernalia, or drug users.

  1. to go at the head of or in front of;
    precede:to head a list.
  2. to outdo or excel;
    take the lead in or over:to head a race; to head one's competitors in a field.
  3. to be the head or chief of (sometimes fol. by up):to head a school; to head up a department.
  4. to direct the course of;
    turn the head or front of in a specified direction:I'll head the boat for the shore. Head me in the right direction and I'll walk to the store.
  5. to go around the head of (a stream).
  6. to furnish or fit with a head.
  7. to take the head off;
  8. Botanyto remove the upper branches of (a tree).
  9. Sport[Fox Hunting.]to turn aside (a fox) from its intended course.
  10. to get in front of in order to stop, turn aside, attack, etc.
  11. headline (def. 4).
  12. Sport[Soccer.]to propel (the ball) by striking it with the head, esp. with the forehead.

  1. to move forward toward a point specified;
    direct one's course;
    go in a certain direction:to head toward town.
  2. to come or grow to a head;
    form a head:Cabbage heads quickly.
  3. (of a river or stream) to have the head or source where specified.
  4. head off, to go before in order to hinder the progress of;
    intercept:The police headed off the fleeing driver at a railroad crossing.
headlike′, adj. 
  • bef. 900; Middle English he(v)ed, Old English hēafod; cognate with Old High German houbit, Gothic haubith; akin to Old English hafud- (in hafudland headland), Old Norse hǫfuth, Latin caput (see capital1)
    • 5.See corresponding entry in Unabridged commander, superior, master, principal, superintendent, president, chairman.
    • 65.See corresponding entry in Unabridged cardinal, foremost, supreme, main.
    • 71.See corresponding entry in Unabridged surpass, beat.
    • 72.See corresponding entry in Unabridged direct, command, rule, govern.
    • 1.See corresponding entry in Unabridged foot.
    • 65.See corresponding entry in Unabridged subordinate.

  • a native English suffix meaning "state of being'' (godhead;
    ), occurring in words now mostly archaic or obsolete, many being superseded by forms in  -hood. 
    • Middle English -hede, Old English *-hǣdu, f. of -hād -hood

    Collins Concise English Dictionary © HarperCollins Publishers::
    head /hɛd/ n
    1. the upper or front part of the body in vertebrates, including man, that contains and protects the brain, eyes, mouth, and nose and ears when present
    2. the corresponding part of an invertebrate animal
    3. something resembling a head in form or function, such as the top of a tool
    4. the person commanding most authority within a group, organization, etc
    5. (as modifier): head buyer
    6. (in combination): headmaster
    7. the position of leadership or command
    8. the most forward part of a thing; a part that juts out; front: the head of a queue
    9. the highest part of a thing; upper end: the head of the pass
    10. the froth on the top of a glass of beer
    11. aptitude, intelligence, and emotions (esp in the phrases above or over one's head, have a head for, keep one's head, lose one's head, etc): she has a good head for figures, a wise old head
    12. ( pl head) a person or animal considered as a unit: the show was two pounds per head, six hundred head of cattle
    13. the head considered as a measure of length or height: he's a head taller than his mother
    14. a dense inflorescence such as that of the daisy and other composite plants
    15. any other compact terminal part of a plant, such as the leaves of a cabbage or lettuce
    16. a culmination or crisis (esp in the phrase bring or come to a head)
    17. the pus-filled tip or central part of a pimple, boil, etc
    18. the source or origin of a river or stream
    19. (capital when part of name) a headland or promontory, esp a high one
    20. the obverse of a coin, usually bearing a portrait of the head or a full figure of a monarch, deity, etc
    21. a main point or division of an argument, discourse, etc
    22. (often plural) the headline at the top of a newspaper article or the heading of a section within an article
    23. (often plural)
      a slang word for lavatory
    24. the taut membrane of a drum, tambourine, etc
    25. the height of the surface of liquid above a specific point, esp when considered or used as a measure of the pressure at that point: a head of four feet
    26. pressure of water, caused by height or velocity, measured in terms of a vertical column of water
    27. any pressure: a head of steam in the boiler
    28. slang a person who regularly takes drugs, esp LSD or cannabis
    29. (in combination): an acidhead, a pothead
    30. a road driven into the coal face
    31. the terminal point of a route
    32. (in combination): railhead
    33. a device on a turning or boring machine, such as a lathe, that is equipped with one or more cutting tools held to the work by this device
    34. an electromagnet that can read, write, or erase information on a magnetic medium such as a magnetic tape, disk, or drum, used in computers, tape recorders, etc
    35. informal
      short for headmaster, headmistress
    36. any narrow margin of victory (in the phrase (win) by a head)
    37. informal
      short for headache
    38. bite someone's head off, snap someone's head offto speak sharply and angrily to someone
    39. give someone his headto allow a person greater freedom or responsibility
    40. give a horse its headto allow a horse to gallop by lengthening the reins
    41. go to one's headto make one dizzy or confused, as might an alcoholic drink
    42. to make one conceited: his success has gone to his head
    43. head and shoulders abovegreatly superior to
    44. head over heelsturning a complete somersault
    45. completely; utterly (esp in the phrase head over heels in love)
    46. hold up one's headto be unashamed
    47. keep one's headto remain calm
    48. keep one's head above waterto manage to survive a difficult experience
    49. make head or tail of ⇒ (used with a negative) to attempt to understand (a problem, etc)
    50. off one's head, out of one's headslang insane or delirious
    51. on one's head, on one's own headat one's (own) risk or responsibility
    52. over someone's headwithout a person in the obvious position being considered, esp for promotion: the graduate was promoted over the heads of several of his seniors
    53. without consulting a person in the obvious position but referring to a higher authority: in making his complaint he went straight to the director, over the head of his immediate boss
    54. beyond a person's comprehension
    55. put their heads togetherinformal to consult together
    56. take it into one's headto conceive a notion, desire, or wish (to do something)
    57. turn someone's headto make someone vain, conceited, etc
    1. (transitive) to be at the front or top of: to head the field
    2. (transitive) often followed by up: to be in the commanding or most important position
    3. (often followed by for) to go or cause to go (towards): where are you heading?
    4. to turn or steer (a vessel) as specified: to head into the wind
    5. to propel (the ball) by striking it with the head
    6. (transitive) to provide with or be a head or heading
    7. (transitive) to cut the top branches or shoots off (a tree or plant)
    8. (intransitive) to form a head, as a boil or plant
    9. (intransitive) often followed by in: (of streams, rivers, etc) to originate or rise in

    See also head off, headsEtymology: Old English hēafod; related to Old Norse haufuth, Old Frisian hāved, Old Saxon hōbid, Old High German houbit

    ˈheadˌlike adj
    Collins Concise English Dictionary © HarperCollins Publishers::
    Head /hɛd/ n
    1. Edith. 1907–81, US dress designer: won many Oscars for her Hollywood film costume designs
    Collins Concise English Dictionary © HarperCollins Publishers::
    -head combining form
    1. indicating a person having a preoccupation as specified: breadhead
    'head' also found in these entries:
    Collocations: head the [department, committee, school, government], has a [big, swelled] head , a head [covering, scarf], more...

    Forum discussions with the word(s) "head" in the title:

    Look up "head" at Merriam-Webster
    Look up "head" at dictionary.com

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