dead·​head | \ ˈded-ˌhed How to pronounce deadhead (audio) \

Definition of deadhead

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : one who has not paid for a ticket
2 : a dull or stupid person
3 : a partially submerged log
4 Deadhead : a devoted fan of the rock group the Grateful Dead The bond between the [Grateful] Dead and the Deadheads was extraordinary.— Bill Barich
5 gardening : a faded blossom on a flowering plant Pansies are still available for late spring bloom. Keep deadheads off.— Edith Henderson


deadheaded; deadheading; deadheads

Definition of deadhead (Entry 2 of 2)

intransitive verb

1 : to make especially a return trip without a load
2 : 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

Keep scrolling for more

Synonyms & Antonyms for deadhead

Synonyms: Noun

Antonyms: Noun

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

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: Noun This approach allows an Origin to make multiple deliveries on each trip, thus minimizing the deadhead miles and reducing unit costs and road congestion. Sam Abuelsamid, Forbes, 6 Oct. 2021 After blooming, deadhead and retain the green shoots until brown, then remove. Jodi Bay, San Diego Union-Tribune, 11 Sep. 2021 Even at-home style was dominated by two completely different aesthetics: cottagecore versus gratitude journal deadhead. Steff Yotka, Vogue, 10 Dec. 2020 In very hot inland areas, be more conservative and deadhead very lightly. Rita Perwich, San Diego Union-Tribune, 5 Sep. 2020 Use zinnias as cut flowers or deadhead spent blooms to encourage new blooms. Calvin Finch,, 4 June 2020 Uber spokesman Harry Hartfield said the company is still not convinced that the garage is the best way to cut down on the deadhead trips., 24 Dec. 2019 After all, a deadhead relaxing in a passenger seat is paid the same as a working crew member. Elliott Hester,, 1 July 2019 Recently Jonah Hill has been dressing like a former deadhead turned dad, recovered burnout, and grillmaster who just likes to unwind on weekends. Liz Raiss, GQ, 1 June 2018 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Whenever practical, continue to deadhead cool-season annuals such as pansies, snapdragons and dianthus to keep them blooming through the spring. Dan Gill,, 22 Dec. 2020 On the least healthy bushes, maintain foliage and deadhead just the bloom. Rita Perwich, San Diego Union-Tribune, 5 Sep. 2020 Kris doesn't deadhead her peonies even though some people believe that doing so can increase the flowers of certain varieties the following year. Johanna Silver, Better Homes & Gardens, 8 Apr. 2020 The latest rules are supposed to reduce deadheading by 30 percent., 12 Dec. 2019 Goldfinches feed on the seed heads of my coneflowers, so cutting them back or deadheading removes this food source for the birds. Tim Johnson,, 2 Nov. 2019 Most flight attendants would rather deadhead than work a flight. Elliott Hester,, 1 July 2019 Keep deadheading annual flowers and pulling out dead ones. Real Estate, 5 Sep. 2019 Garden with lower maintenance plants that don’t need as much water, pruning, staking and deadheading. oregonlive, 2 Sep. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'deadhead.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of deadhead


1841, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1911, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense 1

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More About deadhead

Time Traveler for deadhead

Time Traveler

The first known use of deadhead was in 1841

See more words from the same year

Dictionary Entries Near deadhead

dead handle



See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for deadhead

Last Updated

20 Oct 2021

Cite this Entry

“Deadhead.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 25 Oct. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon
Seen & Heard
People are talking about

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for deadhead



English Language Learners Definition of deadhead

: to remove dead flowers from (a plant)


Test Your Vocabulary

Dog Words Quiz

  • shiba puppy more or less demanding cuddles
  • Which of the following animals has a dog in its etymology?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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