Visit the forum if you have a language query!


Definition from Dictionary, a free dictionary
The pain of love is the pain of being alive. It is a perpetual wound.
Maureen Duffy
Jump to: navigation, search
Wikipedia has articles on:
Broom icon.svg A user suggests that this entry should be cleaned up, giving the reason: “still missing some basic dictionary definitions”.
Please see the discussion on Requests for cleanup(+) for more information and remove this template after the problem has been dealt with.
See also -head, head-, and Head



Old English hēafod, from Proto-Germanic *khaubuthan, from Proto-Indo-European *kauput- (head, bowl). Cognate with German Haupt, Dutch hoofd, Swedish huvud; the Indo-European root is also the source of Latin caput.



Wikipedia has an article on:



head (s)
  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.
  2. (Should we delete(+) this sense?) (countable) A round, compact object or mass.
    As a comet moves away from the sun, the tail is in front of the head.
  3. (uncountable) Mental or emotional aptitude or skill.
    The company is looking for somebody with a good head for business.
    He has no head for heights.
  4. (countable) Mind; one's own thoughts.
    This song keeps going through my head.
  5. (countable) The topmost, foremost, or leading part.
    What does it say on the head of the page?
  6. 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.
  7. (billiards) The end of a pool table opposite the end where the balls have been racked.
  8. (countable) The principal operative part of a machine.
  9. The end of a hammer, axe, or similar implement used for striking other objects.
  10. 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!
  11. The sharp end of an arrow, spear, or pointer.
    The head of the compass needle is pointing due north.
  12. 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.
  13. (Should we delete(+) this redundant sense?) The front of a queue.
    Because you got them all right, you can go to the head of the line.
  14. Headway; progress.
    We are having a difficult time making head against this wind.
  15. The foam that forms on top of beer or other carbonated beverages.
    Pour me a fresh beer; this one has no head.
  16. (Should we delete(+) this redundant sense?) (lacrosse) The top part of a lacrosse stick that holds the ball.
  17. (countable) 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.
  18. A headmaster or headmistress.
    I was called into the head's office to discuss my behaviour.
  19. 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.
  20. A clump of leaves or flowers; a capitulum.
    Give me a head of lettuce.
  21. (anatomy) The rounded part of a bone fitting into a depression in another bone to form a ball-and-socket joint.
  22. An individual person.
    Admission is three dollars a head.
  23. (uncountable, Template loop detected: Template:context 1) A single animal.
    200 head of cattle
  24. Topic; subject.
    We will consider performance issues under the head of future improvements.
  25. (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.
  26. (jazz) The principal melody or theme of a piece.
  27. (UK, geology) Deposits near the top of a geological succession.
  28. (medicine) The end of an abscess where pus collects.
  29. (uncountable) denouement; crisis
    These isses are going to come to a head today.
  30. 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.
  31. (music) The headstock of a guitar.
  32. (music) A drum head, the membrane which is hit to produce sound.
    Tap the head of the drum for this roll.
  33. (engineering) The end cap of a cylindrically-shaped pressure vessel.
  34. (automotive) The cylinder head, a platform above the cylinders in an internal combustion engine, containing the valves and spark plugs.
  35. A buildup of fluid pressure, often quantified as pressure head.
    Let the engine build up a good head of steam.
  36. (fluid dynamics) The difference in elevation between two points in a column of fluid, and the resulting pressure of the fluid at the lower point.
  37. (fluid dynamics) More generally, energy in a mass of fluid divided by its weight.
  38. (nautical) The top of a sail.
  39. (nautical) The bow of a nautical vessel.
  40. (nautical) The toilet of a ship.
    I've got to go to the head.
  41. (uncountable, Template loop detected: Template:context 1) Fellatio or cunnilingus; oral sex
    She gave great head.
  42. (slang) The glans penis.
  43. (countable, Template loop detected: Template:context 1) A heavy or habitual user of illicit drugs.
    • 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.




Usage notes

  • To give something its head is to allow it to run freely. This is used for horses, and, sometimes, figuratively for vehicles.

Derived terms



head (not comparable)


not comparable

none (absolute)

  1. Of, relating to, or intended for the head.
  2. Foremost in rank or importance.
    The head cook.
  3. Placed at the top or the front.
  4. Coming from in front.
    head sea
    head wind



  • (coming from in front): tail



to head

Third person singular

Simple past

Past participle

Present participle

to head (third-person singular simple present -, present participle -, simple past and past participle -)
  1. (transitive) To be in command of. - see also head up
    Who heads the board of trustees?
  2. (transitive) To strike with the head; as in soccer, to head the ball
  3. (intransitive) To move in a specified direction. heading towards something
    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.
  4. (fishing) To remove the head from a fish.
    The salmon are first headed and then scaled.

Derived terms


Related terms

Elsewhere on the web