1 of 2


dead·​head ˈded-ˌhed How to pronounce deadhead (audio)
: one who has not paid for a ticket
: a dull or stupid person
: a partially submerged log
Deadhead : a devoted fan of the rock group the Grateful Dead
The bond between the [Grateful] Dead and the Deadheads was extraordinary.Bill Barich
gardening : a faded blossom on a flowering plant
Pansies are still available for late spring bloom. Keep deadheads off.Edith Henderson


2 of 2


deadheaded; deadheading; deadheads

intransitive verb

: to make especially a return trip without a load
: to deadhead a plant

transitive verb

: to remove the faded flowers of (a plant) especially to keep a neat appearance and to promote reblooming by preventing seed production

Examples of deadhead in a Sentence

Noun people knew that he was a deadhead and voted for him anyway Verb She's out in the garden deadheading the rosebushes.
Recent Examples on the Web
Following news of his death, fellow Deadheads posted tributes to Walton on social media, remembering him for his kind spirit and big smile. Tracy Brown, Los Angeles Times, 27 May 2024 Specifically, a flyer distributed by a group of Oakland Deadheads in December 1990 inviting people to smoke on April 20 at 4:20 p.m. did the trick. USA TODAY, 20 Apr. 2024 Time reports that during a December show in 1990, some Deadheads in Oakland distributed flyers inviting people to smoke 420 at 4:20 p.m. on April 20. Haadiza Ogwude, The Enquirer, 18 Apr. 2024 Blooms spring through summer; deadhead to keep blooms coming. Betty Cahill, The Denver Post, 3 Apr. 2024 In an attempt to ensure tickets get into the hands of Deadheads, advance presale registration for the shows are available here now; advance registration does not guarantee tickets. Gil Kaufman, Billboard, 1 Feb. 2024 The group’s devoted fans, the ever-present Deadheads, filed into Oracle Park to pay their respects. Christopher Parker, Smithsonian Magazine, 18 July 2023 Beetles, buses and Deadheads:How VW became a cultural icon in the US over 75 years Other recent vehicle recalls Ford has issued two recalls of more than 150,000 vehicles in total, the latest safety notices issued by the carmaker this month. Gabe Hauari, USA TODAY, 23 Feb. 2024 Plant them in full sun and deadhead spent flowers to encourage more blooms. Southern Living Editors, Southern Living, 14 Feb. 2024
No need to deadhead the blooms. Terri Robertson, Country Living, 21 June 2022 So, don’t be too tidy and quick to deadhead. Janet Carson, Arkansas Online, 12 Apr. 2021 Also, there is no need to deadhead these. Norman Winter, Houston Chronicle, 18 June 2020 Olga showed the girls how to deadhead roses and immediately delved into their lives. Los Angeles Times, 14 Dec. 2022 McGrath generally doesn’t deadhead, letting the plants take their course. Nancy Hass Ngoc Minh Ngo, New York Times, 23 Sep. 2022 Carolyn Forté, executive director of the Good Housekeeping Institute's Home Care and Cleaning Lab, uses these shears to deadhead her rose bushes, hydrangeas and other flowering plants. Alyssa Gautieri, Good Housekeeping, 22 Sep. 2022 The best way to keep a plant blooming is to deadhead the blooms. Joanne Kempinger Demski, Journal Sentinel, 25 Aug. 2022 Another good reason to deadhead is to encourage flowers to rebloom. Susan Brownstein, cleveland, 9 Aug. 2022

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'deadhead.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use


1841, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1911, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of deadhead was in 1841

Dictionary Entries Near deadhead

Cite this Entry

“Deadhead.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 20 Jun. 2024.

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!