a. The uppermost or forwardmost part of the body of a vertebrate, containing the brain and the eyes, ears, nose, mouth, and jaws.
b. The analogous part of an invertebrate organism.
c. The length or height of such a part: The horse lost by a head. She is two heads taller than he is.
2. The seat of the faculty of reason; intelligence, intellect, or mind: I did the figuring in my head.
3. Mental ability or aptitude: She has a good head for mathematics.
4. Freedom of choice or action: Give the child his head and see how well he solves the problems.
a. A habitual drug user. Often used in combination: a dopehead.
b. An enthusiast. Often used in combination: a chilihead.
6. A person considered foolish or contemptible. Often used in combination: a chowderhead.
7. A portrait or representation of a person’s head.
8. often heads(used with a sing. verb) The side of a coin having the principal design, often the profile of a political leader’s head.
9. Informal A headache: had a bad head early this morning.
a. An individual; a person: charged five dollars a head.
b. pl. head A single animal: 20 head of cattle.
a. A person who leads, rules, or is in charge; a leader, chief, or director: the head of the corporation.
b. A headmaster or headmistress.
12. The foremost or leading position: marched at the head of the parade.
13. A headwaiter.
a. The difference in depth of a liquid at two given points.
b. The measure of pressure at the lower point expressed in terms of this difference.
c. The pressure exerted by a liquid or gas: a head of steam.
d. The liquid or gas exerting the pressure.
15. The froth or foam that rises to the top in pouring an effervescent liquid, such as beer.
16. The tip of an abscess, boil, or pimple, in which pus forms.
17. A turning point; a crisis: bring matters to a head.
a. A projection, weight, or fixture at the end of an elongated object: the head of a pin; a head of land overlooking the harbor.
b. The working end of a tool or implement: the head of a hammer.
c. The looped part at the end a lacrosse stick, to which the webbing is attached.
d. The part of an explosive device that carries the explosive; a warhead.
e. The part of a stringed instrument where the strings are wound; a tuning head.
f. A tuning machine.
a. The rounded proximal end of a long bone: the head of the femur.
b. The end of a muscle that is attached to the less movable part of the skeleton.
a. An attachment to or part of a machine that holds or contains the operative device.
b. The magnetic head of a tape recorder or VCR.
c. The device in a magnetic disk or tape drive that enables it to read data from and write data to the disk or tape.
21. A rounded compact mass, as of leaves or buds: a head of cabbage.
22. Botany A flower head.
23. The uppermost part; the top: Place the appropriate name at the head of each column.
24. The end considered the most important: sat at the head of the table.
25. Either end of an object, such as a drum, whose two ends are interchangeable.
a. The forward part of a vessel.
b. The top part or upper edge of a sail.
27. A toilet, especially on a ship.
28. A passage or gallery in a coal mine.
a. The top of a book or page.
b. A headline or heading.
c. A distinct topic or category: under the head of recent Spanish history.
30. Headway; progress.
31. Linguistics The word determining the grammatical category of a constituent, often establishing relations of concord or agreement (such as subject-verb agreement) with other constituents.
32. Vulgar Slang Oral sex.
1. Of, relating to, or intended for the head. Often used in combination: headshaking; headwrap.
2. Foremost in rank or importance: the head librarian.
3. Placed at the top or the front: the head name on the list.
4. Slang Of, relating to, or for drugs or drug users.
v. head·ed, head·ing, heads
1. To be in charge of; lead: The minister headed the committee.
2. To be in the first or foremost position of: Collins heads the list of job candidates.
3. To aim, point, or turn in a certain direction: headed the team of horses up the hill.
4. To remove the head or top of.
5. Sports To hit (a soccer ball) in the air with one’s head.
6. To provide with a head: head each column with a number; headed the flagpole with a golden ball.
1. To proceed or go in a certain direction: head for town.
2. To form a head, as lettuce or cabbage.
3. To originate, as a stream or river; rise.
To block the progress or completion of; intercept: Try to head him off before he gets home. The town headed off the attempt to build another mall.
To be overly self-confident or conceited.
Far superior to: head and shoulders above her colleagues in analytical capability.
1. Rolling, as in a somersault: tripped and fell head over heels.
2. Completely; hopelessly: head over heels in love.
To remain calm; remain in control of oneself.
To lose one’s poise or self-control.
As one’s responsibility or fault: If this project fails, it’s on your head.
1. Beyond one’s comprehension.
2. Beyond one’s financial means.
To consult and plan together: Let’s put our heads together and solve this problem.
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
1. (Anatomy) 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. (Anatomy) the corresponding part of an invertebrate animal
3. something resembling a head in form or function, such as the top of a tool
a. the person commanding most authority within a group, organization, etc
b. (as modifier): head buyer.
c. (in combination): headmaster.
5. the position of leadership or command: at the head of his class.
a. the most forward part of a thing; a part that juts out; front: the head of a queue.
b. (as modifier): head point.
7. the highest part of a thing; upper end: the head of the pass.
8. (Brewing) the froth on the top of a glass of beer
9. 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.
10. a person or animal considered as a unit: the show was two pounds per head; six hundred head of cattle.
11. the head considered as a measure of length or height: he’s a head taller than his mother.
a. a dense inflorescence such as that of the daisy and other composite plants
b. any other compact terminal part of a plant, such as the leaves of a cabbage or lettuce
13. a culmination or crisis (esp in the phrase bring or come to a head)
14. (Pathology) the pus-filled tip or central part of a pimple, boil, etc
15. the head considered as the part of the body on which hair grows densely: a fine head of hair.
16. (Physical Geography) the source or origin of a river or stream
17. (Physical Geography) (capital when part of name) a headland or promontory, esp a high one
19. a main point or division of an argument, discourse, etc
20. (Journalism & Publishing) (often plural) the headline at the top of a newspaper article or the heading of a section within an article
a. the front part of a ship or boat
b. (in sailing ships) the upper corner or edge of a sail
c. the top of any spar or derrick
d. any vertical timber cut to shape
23. (Instruments) the taut membrane of a drum, tambourine, etc
a. 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.
b. pressure of water, caused by height or velocity, measured in terms of a vertical column of water
c. any pressure: a head of steam in the boiler.
a. a person who regularly takes drugs, esp LSD or cannabis
b. (in combination): an acidhead; a pothead.
26. (Mining & Quarrying) mining a road driven into the coal face
a. the terminal point of a route
b. (in combination): railhead.
28. (General Engineering) 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
30. (Electronics) 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
a. the head of a horse considered as a narrow margin in the outcome of a race (in the phrase win by a head)
b. any narrow margin of victory (in the phrase (win) by a head)
34. (Curling) curling the stones lying in the house after all 16 have been played
35. (Bowls & Bowling) bowls the jack and the bowls that have been played considered together as a target area
36. (Rugby) against the head rugby from the opposing side’s put-in to the scrum
37. bite someone’s head off snap someone’s head off to speak sharply and angrily to someone
a. to bring or be brought to a crisis: matters came to a head.
b. (of a boil) to cause to be or be about to burst
39. get it into one’s head to come to believe (an idea, esp a whimsical one): he got it into his head that the earth was flat.
40. give head slang to perform fellatio
41. give someone his head to allow a person greater freedom or responsibility
42. (Horse Racing) give a horse its head to allow a horse to gallop by lengthening the reins
a. to make one dizzy or confused, as might an alcoholic drink
b. to make one conceited: his success has gone to his head.
44. head and shoulders above greatly superior to
a. turning a complete somersault
b. completely; utterly (esp in the phrase head over heels in love)
46. hold up one’s head to be unashamed
47. keep one’s head to remain calm
48. keep one’s head above water to manage to survive a difficult experience
49. make head to make progress
50. make head or tail of (used with a negative) to attempt to understand (a problem, etc): he couldn’t make head or tail of the case.
51. off one’s head out of one’s head slang insane or delirious
52. off the top of one’s head without previous thought; impromptu
53. on one’s head on one’s own head at one’s (own) risk or responsibility
54. one’s head off slang loudly or excessively: the baby cried its head off.
a. without a person in the obvious position being considered, esp for promotion: the graduate was promoted over the heads of several of his seniors.
b. 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.
c. beyond a person’s comprehension
56. put their heads together informal to consult together
57. take it into one’s head to conceive a notion, desire, or wish (to do something)
58. turn heads to be so beautiful, unusual, or impressive as to attract a lot of attention
59. turn something on its head stand something on its head to treat or present something in a completely new and different way: health care which has turned orthodox medicine on its head.
60. turn someone’s head to make someone vain, conceited, etc
61. (tr) to be at the front or top of: to head the field.
62. (often foll by: up) to be in the commanding or most important position
63. (often foll by for) to go or cause to go (towards): where are you heading?.
64. (Nautical Terms) to turn or steer (a vessel) as specified: to head into the wind.
65. (Soccer) soccer to propel (the ball) by striking it with the head
66. (tr) to provide with or be a head or heading: to head a letter; the quotation which heads chapter 6.
67. (Botany) (tr) to cut the top branches or shoots off (a tree or plant)
68. (intr) to form a head, as a boil or plant
69. (Physical Geography) (often foll by: in) (of streams, rivers, etc) to originate or rise in
70. (Games, other than specified) head them Austral to toss the coins in a game of two-up
[Old English hēafod; related to Old Norse haufuth, Old Frisian hāved, Old Saxon hōbid, Old High German houbit]
(Biography) Edith. 1907–81, US dress designer: won many Oscars for her Hollywood film costume designs
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014
1. the anterior or upper part of the vertebrate body, containing the skull with mouth, eyes, ears, nose, and brain.
2. the corresponding part of the body in invertebrates.
3. the head considered as the center of the intellect; mind; brain: a good head for mathematics.
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; leader or chief.
6. a person considered with reference to his or her mind, attributes, status, etc.: wise heads; crowned heads.
7. the part of anything that forms or is regarded as forming the top or upper end: head of a pin; head of a page.
8. the foremost part or front end of something 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 as one of a number, herd, or group: a dinner at $20 a head; ten head of cattle.
11. the approximate length of a horse’s head, as indicating a margin of victory in a race.
12. a culminating point, usu. of a critical nature; crisis or climax: to bring matters to a head.
13. froth or foam at the top of a liquid: the head on beer.
a. any dense flower cluster or inflorescence.
b. any other compact part of a plant, usu. at the top of the stem, as that composed of leaves in the cabbage.
15. the maturated part of an abscess, boil, etc.
16. a projecting point of a coast, esp. when high, as a cape, headland, or promontory.
18. one of the chief parts or points of a written or oral discourse.
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.
a. a habitual user of an illicit drug (often used in combination): an acid-head; a pothead.
b. a fan or devotee (usu. used in combination): a punk-rock head; a chili head.
22. heads, alcohol produced during the initial fermentation.
24. a toilet or lavatory, esp. on a boat or ship.
a. the forepart of a vessel; bow.
b. the upper edge of a quadrilateral sail.
c. the upper corner of a jib-headed sail.
a. the member of an endocentric construction that can play the same grammatical role as the construction itself.
b. the member of a construction upon which another member depends and to which it is subordinate.
27. the stretched membrane covering the end of a drum or similar musical instrument.
28. a level or road driven into solid coal for proving or working a mine.
29. 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. (loosely) the pressure exerted by confined fluid: a head of steam.
a. the vertical distance between two points in a liquid, as water, or some other fluid.
b. the pressure differential resulting from this separation, expressed in terms of the vertical distance between the points.
32. any of the parts of a tape recorder that record, play back, or erase magnetic signals on audiotape or videotape.
33. first in rank or position; chief; leading; principal: a head official.
34. of or for the head (often used in combination): head covering; headgear.
35. situated at the top, front, or head of anything (often used in combination): headline; headboard.
36. moving or coming from a direction in front, as of a vessel: head tide.
37. Slang. of or pertaining to drugs, drug paraphernalia, or drug users.
38. to go at the head of or in front of; lead: to head a list.
39. to outdo or excel: to head one’s competitors in a field.
40. to be the head or chief of (sometimes fol. by up): to head a school.
41. to direct the course of; turn the head or front of in a specified direction: I’ll head the boat for the shore.
42. to go around the head of (a stream).
43. to furnish or fit with a head.
44. to take the head off; decapitate; behead.
45. to get in front of in order to stop, turn aside, attack, etc.
47. to propel (a soccer ball) by striking it with the head, esp. with the forehead.
48. to move forward toward a point specified; go in a certain direction: to head toward town.
49. to form a head: Cabbage heads quickly.
50. (of a river or stream) to have the head or source where specified.
51. head off, to hinder the progress of; intercept.
a. to suppurate, as a boil.
b. to reach a crisis; culminate.
2. get one’s head together, to get oneself under control; become sensible.
3. give someone his or her head, to allow someone freedom of choice.
a. to overcome one with exhilaration, dizzyness, or intoxication.
b. to fill one with conceit.
5. hang or hide one’s head, to manifest shame.
6. head and shoulders, by an impressively great amount: head and shoulders above the rest in talent.
a. headlong, as in a somersault.
b. intensely; completely: head over heels in love.
c. impulsively; carelessly: They plunged head over heels into the fighting.
8. head to head, in direct opposition or competition.
9. keep one’s head, to remain calm and effective.
10. lay or put heads together, to meet in order to discuss, consult, or scheme.
11. lose one’s head, to become uncontrolled or wildly excited.
12. make head(s) or tail(s) of, to understand or interpret to even a small extent (often used in the negative).
13. make heads roll, to dismiss numbers of employees or subordinates.
14. on one’s head, as one’s responsibility or fault.
a. insane; crazy.
b. delirious; irrational.
16. over one’s head, beyond one’s comprehension, ability, or resources.
a. to make someone smug or conceited.
b. to confuse someone.
[before 900; Middle English he(v)ed, Old English hēafod, c. Old Saxon hōbid, Old High German houbit, Old Norse haufuth; akin to Old Norse hǫfoth, Latin caput]
Bessie, 1937–86, South African novelist.
Random House Kernerman Webster’s College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.
the condition of having a wide or broad head. — brachycephalic, brachycephalous, adj.
a sarcastic term for phrenology. — bumpologist, n.
a form of divination involving measurement of the head.
the science of measuring the dimensions of the human head. — cephalometer, n. — cephalometric, cephalometrical, adj.
the science that studies the size, shape, and other features of human skulls. — craniologist, n. — craniologic, craniological, adj.
the science of measuring skulls. — craniometrist, n. — craniometric, craniometrical, adj.
the observation, examination, and description of the human skull. — cranioscopist, n. — cranioscopic, cranioscopical, adj.
the surgical operation of opening the skull, as for an operation on the brain.
the state or condition of having two heads. — dicephalic, dicephalous, adj.
the condition of having a long or narrow head. — dolicephalic, dolicocephalous, adj.
the condition of very high vertical cranial development. — hypsicephalic, adj.
the characteristic of depicting heads of figures at the same level, as in a painting. — isocephalic, isocephalous, adj.
a condition in which the head or cranial capacity is unusually large. — macrocephalic, macrocephalous, adj.
the condition of having an intermediate or medium relation between the height of the skull and its breadth or length. — orthocephalic, — orthocephalous, adj.
a system by which an analysis of character and of the development of faculties is attempted by studying the shape and protuberances of the skull. — phrenologist, n. — phrenologic, phrenological, adj.
a deformity of the skull in which one side is more developed in the front, and the other more developed in the rear. — plagiocephalic, plagiocephalous, adj.
-Ologies & -Isms. Copyright 2008 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.