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1

headlong

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adverb head·long \-ˈlȯŋ\

Simple Definition of headlong

  • : with the head leading

  • : without taking time to think about your actions

Source: Merriam-Webster's Learner's Dictionary

Full Definition of headlong

  1. 1 :  headfirst 1

  2. 2 :  without deliberation :  recklessly <rushes headlong into danger>

  3. 3 :  without pause or delay

Examples of headlong in a sentence

  1. I dove headlong to the floor.

  2. <plunged headlong into the crowd in pursuit of the purse snatcher>



Did You Know?

Headlong appeared in Middle English as "hedlong," an alteration of the older "hedling" or "hedlynge." "Hedling" is a combination of the Middle English "hed" ("head") and "-ling," an adverb suffix which means "in such a direction or manner." Thus, "hedling" originally meant "with the head foremost" or, if you will, "in the direction of the head." By the late 1400s, influenced by its use in the compound word endlong, the adjective "long" began to be regarded as a suffix and a variant of "-ling." It was this substitution of "-ling" with "-long" that led to the replacement of words like "sideling" and "headling" with the now more familiar "sidelong" and "headlong."

Origin of headlong

Middle English hedlong, alteration of hedling, from hed head


First Known Use: 14th century


2

headlong

play
adjective head·long \-ˌlȯŋ\

Definition of headlong

  1. 1 archaic :  steep, precipitous

  2. 2 :  lacking in calmness or restraint :  precipitate <a headlong torrent of emotion>

  3. 3 :  plunging headfirst



Examples of headlong in a sentence

  1. <terrified forest creatures in a headlong retreat from the rapidly spreading fire>



Circa 1550

First Known Use of headlong

circa 1550

Synonym Discussion of headlong

precipitate, headlong, abrupt, impetuous, sudden mean showing undue haste or unexpectedness. precipitate stresses lack of due deliberation and implies prematureness of action <the army's precipitate withdrawal>. headlong stresses rashness and lack of forethought <a headlong flight from arrest>. abrupt stresses curtness and a lack of warning or ceremony <an abrupt refusal>. impetuous stresses extreme impatience or impulsiveness <an impetuous lover proposing marriage>. sudden stresses unexpectedness and sharpness or violence of action <flew into a sudden rage>.

HEADLONG Defined for Kids

1

headlong

play
adverb head·long \ˈhed-ˈlȯŋ\

Definition of headlong for Students

  1. 1 :  headfirst <The boys dove headlong into a pile of leaves.>

  2. 2 :  without waiting to think things through <Don't rush headlong into marriage.>




2

headlong

play
adjective head·long \ˈhed-ˌlȯŋ\

Definition of headlong for Students

  1. 1 :  1rash, impulsive <“I don't rush into things in your headlong way, Anne.” — Lucy Maud Montgomery, Anne of Avonlea>

  2. 2 :  plunging headfirst <He made a headlong run for the exit.>





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