• (British) IPA: /ˈwɛlhɛd/

wellhead (plural wellheads)

  1. The place#Noun|place where a spring#Noun|spring break#Verb|breaks out of the ground#Noun|ground; the source#Noun|source of water#Noun|water for a stream#Noun|stream or well#Noun|well.
    • 1607, George Chapman, Bussy D'Ambois, London: William Aspley, Act I, Scene 1, p. 3,
      Leaue the troubled streames,
      And liue as Thriuers doe at the Well head.
    • 1789, William Gilpin, Observations on the River Wye, London: R. Blamire, Section 6, p. 74,
      It is a singular circumstance, that within a quarter of a mile of the well-head of the River Wye, arises the River Severn.
    • 1886, Robert Louis Stevenson, “The Flight in the Heather: The Quarrel”, in Kidnapped, being Memoirs of the Adventures of David Balfour in the Year 1751: […], London; Paris: Cassell & Company, Limited., OCLC 1056292939 ↗, pages 239–240 ↗:
      We set forth accordingly by this itinerary; and for the best part of three nights travelled on eerie mountains and among the well-heads of wild rivers; [...]
  2. (figuratively) The source of something; a fountainhead.
    • 1596, Edmund Spenser, The Faerie Qveene. […], part II (books IV–VI), London: Printed [by Richard Field] for VVilliam Ponsonbie, OCLC 932900760 ↗, book V, canto IX, stanza 26, page 303 ↗:
      [H]e likened was to a welhed / Of euill words, and wicked ſclaunders by him ſhed.
    • 1932, D. H. Lawrence, “Painted Tombs of Tarquinia” in Sketches of Etruscan Places, New York: Viking, 1957, p. 113,
      [...] a bull was not merely a stud animal worth so much, due to go to the butcher in a little while. It was a vast wonder-beast, a well-head of the great, furnace-like passion that makes the worlds roll and the sun surge up [...]
  3. The surface structure of an oil well etc.

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