Pronunciation Noun


  1. (countable) The part of the body of an animal or human which contains the brain, mouth and main sense organs.
    Be careful when you pet that dog on the head; it may bite.
    1. (people) To do with heads.
      1. Mental or emotional aptitude or skill.
        The company is looking for people with good heads for business.
        He has no head for heights.
        It's all about having a good head on your shoulders.
      2. (figurative, metonymy) Mind; one's own thoughts.
        This song keeps going through my head.
      3. A headache; especially one resulting from intoxication.
        • 1888, Rudyard Kipling, ‘Thrown Away’, Plain Tales from the Hills, Folio Society 2005 edition, page 18,
          he took them seriously, too, just as seriously as he took the ‘head’ that followed after drink.
      4. A headdress; a covering for the head.
        a laced head;   a head of hair
      5. (figurative, metonymy) An individual person.
        Admission is three dollars a head.
        • 1749, Henry Fielding, chapter VII, in The History of Tom Jones, a Foundling. In Six Volumes, volume (please specify ), London: Printed by A[ndrew] Millar, […], OCLC 928184292 ↗, book VIII, pages 196–197 ↗:
          but here we are obliged to diſcloſe ſome Maxims, which Publicans hold to be the grand Myſteries of their Trade. […] And, laſtly, if any of their Gueſts call but for little, to make them pay a double Price for every Thing they have ; ſo that the Amount by the Head may be much the ſame.| but here we are obliged to diſcloſe ſome Maxims, which Publicans hold to be the grand Myſteries of their Trade. […] And, laſtly, if any of their Gueſts call but for little, to make them pay a double Price for every Thing they have ; ſo that the Amount by the Head may be much the ſame.||tr=|brackets=|subst=|lit=|nocat=1|footer=}}|}}
    2. (animals) To do with heads.
      1. (uncountable, measure word for livestock and game) A single animal.
        200 head of cattle and 50 head of horses
        12 head of big cattle and 14 head of branded calves
        at five years of age this head of cattle is worth perhaps $40
        a reduction in the assessment per head of sheep
        they shot 20 head of quail
      2. The population of game.
        we have a heavy head of deer this year
        planting the hedges increased the head of quail and doves
      3. The antlers of a deer.
  2. (countable) The topmost, foremost, or leading part.
    What does it say at the head of the page?
    1. The end of a table.
      1. The end of a rectangular table furthest from the entrance; traditionally considered a seat of honor.
        During meetings, the supervisor usually sits at the head of the table.
      2. (billiards) The end of a pool table opposite the end where the balls have been racked.
    2. (countable) The principal operative part of a machine or tool.
      1. The end of a hammer, axe, golf club or similar implement used for striking other objects.
      2. The end of a nail, screw, bolt or similar fastener which is opposite the point; usually blunt and relatively wide.
        Hit the nail on the head!
      3. The sharp end of an arrow, spear or pointer.
        The head of the compass needle is pointing due north.
      4. (lacrosse) The top part of a lacrosse stick that holds the ball.
      5. (music) A drum head, the membrane which is hit to produce sound.
        Tap the head of the drum for this roll.
      6. A machine element which reads or writes electromagnetic signals to or from a storage medium.
        The heads of your tape player need to be cleaned.
      7. (computing) The part of a disk drive responsible for reading and writing data.
      8. (automotive) The cylinder head, a platform above the cylinders in an internal combustion engine, containing the valves and spark plugs.
    3. The foam that forms on top of beer or other carbonated beverages.
      Pour me a fresh beer; this one has no head.
    4. (engineering) The end cap of a cylindrically-shaped pressure vessel.
    5. (British, geology) Deposits near the top of a geological succession.
    6. (medicine) The end of an abscess where pus collects.
    7. (music) The headstock of a guitar.
    8. (nautical) A leading component.
      1. The top edge of a sail.
      2. The bow of a vessel.
    9. (British) A headland.
  3. (social, countable, metonymy) A leader or expert.
    1. The place of honour, or of command; the most important or foremost position; the front.
    2. (metonymy) Leader; chief; mastermind.
      I'd like to speak to the head of the department.
      Police arrested the head of the gang in a raid last night.
    3. (metonymy) A headmaster or headmistress.
      I was called into the head's office to discuss my behaviour.
    4. (music, slang, figurative, metonymy) A person with an extensive knowledge of hip hop.
      Only true heads know this.
  4. A significant or important part.
    1. A beginning or end, a protuberance.
      1. The source of a river; the end of a lake where a river flows into it.
        The expedition followed the river all the way to the head.
      2. A clump of seeds, leaves or flowers; a capitulum.
        Give me a head of lettuce.
        1. An ear of wheat, barley, or other small cereal.
        2. The leafy top part of a tree.
      3. (anatomy) The rounded part of a bone fitting into a depression in another bone to form a ball-and-socket joint.
      4. (nautical) The toilet of a ship.
        I've got to go to the head.
      5. (in the plural) Tiles laid at the eaves of a house.
    2. A component.
      1. (jazz) The principal melody or theme of a piece.
      2. (linguistics) A morpheme that determines the category of a compound or the word that determines the syntactic type of the phrase of which it is a member.
  5. Headway; progress.
    We are having a difficult time making head against this wind.
  6. Topic; subject.
    We will consider performance issues under the head of future improvements.
  7. (uncountable) Denouement; crisis.
    These isses are going to come to a head today.
    • circa 1595 William Shakespeare, The Life and Death of Richard the Second, [Act V, scene i]:
      Northumberland, thou Ladder wherewithall / The mounting Bullingbrooke aſcends my Throne, / The time ſhall not be many houres of age, / More then it is, ere foule ſinne, gathering head, / Shall breake into corruption […]
    • 1712 October 18, anonymous letter in The Spectator, edited by Joseph Addison, no. 513, collected in The Works of the Late Right Honorable Joseph Addison, Esq, Birmingham: John Baskerville, published 1761, volume IV, page 10 ↗:
      THE indiſpoſition which has long hung upon me, is at laſt grown to ſuch an head, that it muſt quickly make an end of me, or of itſelf.
  8. (fluid dynamics) Pressure and energy.
    1. A buildup of fluid pressure, often quantified as pressure head.
      Let the engine build up a good head of steam.
    2. The difference in elevation between two points in a column of fluid, and the resulting pressure of the fluid at the lower point.
    3. More generally, energy in a mass of fluid divided by its weight.
  9. (slang, uncountable) Fellatio or cunnilingus; oral sex.
    She gave great head.
  10. (slang) The glans penis.
  11. (slang, countable) A heavy or habitual user of illicit drugs.
    • 1936, Lee Duncan, Over The Wall, Dutton
      Then I saw the more advanced narcotic addicts, who shot unbelievable doses of powerful heroin in the main line – the vein of their arms; the hysien users; chloroform sniffers, who belonged to the riff-raff element of the dope chippeys, who mingled freely with others of their kind; canned heat stiffs, paragoric hounds, laudanum fiends, and last but not least, the veronal heads.
    • 2005, Martin Torgoff, Can't Find My Way Home, Simon & Schuster, page 177,
      The hutch now looks like a “Turkish bath,” and the heads have their arms around one another, passing the pipe and snapping their fingers as they sing Smokey Robinson's “Tracks of My Tears” into the night.
  12. (obsolete) Power; armed force.
    • 1591, William Shakespeare, “The First Part of Henry the Sixt”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies: Published According to the True Originall Copies (First Folio), London: Printed by Isaac Iaggard, and Ed[ward] Blount, published 1623, OCLC 606515358 ↗, [Act I, scene iv]:
      My lord, my lord, the French have gathered head:
Synonyms Antonyms Adjective

head (not comparable)

  1. Of, relating to, or intended for the head.
Translations Verb

head (heads, present participle heading; past and past participle headed)

  1. (transitive) To be in command of. (See also head up.)
    Who heads the board of trustees?
    to head an army, an expedition, or a riot
  2. (transitive) To come at the beginning of; to commence.
    A group of clowns headed the procession.
    The most important items headed the list.
  3. (transitive) To strike with the head; as in soccer, to head the ball
  4. (intransitive) To move in a specified direction.
    We are going to head up North for our holiday.
    We will head off tomorrow.
    Next holiday we will head out West, or head to Chicago.
    Right now I need to head into town to do some shopping.
    I'm fed up working for a boss. I'm going to head out on my own, set up my own business.
    How does the ship head?
  5. (fishing) To remove the head from a fish.
    The salmon are first headed and then scaled.
  6. (intransitive) To originate; to spring; to have its course, as a river.
    • A broad river, that heads in the great Blue Ridge.
  7. (intransitive) To form a head.
    This kind of cabbage heads early.
  8. (transitive) To form a head to; to fit or furnish with a head.
    to head a nail
  9. (transitive) To cut off the top of; to lop off.
    to head trees
  10. (transitive, obsolete) To behead; to decapitate.
    • 1822, Allan Cunningham, "Ezra Peden", in Traditional Tales of the English and Scottish Peasantry, v. 1, p. 37 ↗.
      I tell thee, man of God, the uncharitableness of the sect to which thou pertainest has thronged the land of punishment as much as those who headed, and hanged, and stabbed, and shot, and tortured.
  11. To go in front of.
    to head a drove of cattle
    to head a person
  12. To get in the front of, so as to hinder or stop; to oppose.
    The wind headed the ship and made progress difficult.
  13. (by extension) To check or restrain.
  14. To set on the head.
    to head a cask
Translations Translations Translations
  • French: (please verify) se diriger (fr) attention fr, courir (for: vers)
  • German: (please verify) ansteuern, (please verify) in eine Richtung gehen, (please verify) auf etwas zusteuern , ziehen
  • Portuguese: dirigir-se, encaminhar-se, rumar
  • Russian: направля́ться
  • Spanish: dirigirse
Related terms Adjective

head (not comparable)

  1. Foremost in rank or importance.
    the head cook
  2. Placed at the top or the front.
  3. Coming from in front.
    head sea
    head wind
Synonyms Antonyms
  • (coming from in front) tail
  • German: Haupt
  • Portuguese: mor
  • Russian: гла́вный
  • Russian: пере́дний
  • Russian: встре́чный

Proper noun
  1. Surname, from residence near a hilltop or the head of a river, or a byname for someone with an odd-looking head.

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