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

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Synonyms & Antonyms for deadhead

Synonyms: Noun

airhead, birdbrain, blockhead, bonehead, bubblehead, chowderhead, chucklehead, clodpoll (or clodpole), clot [British], cluck, clunk, cretin, cuddy (or cuddie) [British dialect], dim bulb [slang], dimwit, dip, dodo, dolt, donkey, doofus [slang], dope, dork [slang], dullard, dum-dum, dumbbell, dumbhead, dummkopf, dummy, dunce, dunderhead, fathead, gander, golem, goof, goon, half-wit, hammerhead, hardhead, idiot, ignoramus, imbecile, jackass, know-nothing, knucklehead, lamebrain, loggerhead [chiefly dialect], loon, lump, lunkhead, meathead, mome [archaic], moron, mug [chiefly British], mutt, natural, nimrod [slang], nincompoop, ninny, ninnyhammer, nit [chiefly British], nitwit, noddy, noodle, numskull (or numbskull), oaf, pinhead, prat [British], ratbag [chiefly Australian], saphead, schlub (also shlub) [slang], schnook [slang], simpleton, stock, stupe, stupid, thickhead, turkey, woodenhead, yahoo, yo-yo

Antonyms: Noun

brain, genius

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Examples of deadhead in a Sentence


people knew that he was a deadhead and voted for him anyway


She's out in the garden deadheading the rosebushes.

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

After all, a deadhead relaxing in a passenger seat is paid the same as a working crew member. Elliott Hester,, "That flight attendant in a passenger seat? He's not on duty so leave him alone," 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, "Jonah Hill Has Gone Full Tie-Dye," 1 June 2018 Beyond a dwindling number of beachcombers hoping to make a buck, and mariners wishing to avoid striking deadheads, why should anyone care? Brian Payton, Smithsonian, "How Driftwood Reshapes Ecosystems," 9 Feb. 2018 Living deadheads can welcome this new musical, which draws on the music and lyrics of Jerry Garcia and Robert Hunter. Alexis Soloski, New York Times, "What’s New in NYC Theater," 26 Oct. 2017 Deadheads know everything there is to know about late frontman Jerry Garcia, his bandmates, and every nuanced version of every Dead song ever played. Karen Bliss, Billboard, "Grateful Dead Doc Director on Hating the Term 'Jam Band' & Why So Few Women Are In the Film," 2 June 2017 Having assembled candid interviews with the Bay Area band, road crew, family members and notable Deadheads, Bar-Lev reveals the untold history of the Dead and the freewheeling psychedelic subculture that sprouted up around it. Chuck Barney, The Mercury News, "TV tonight: New Grateful Dead documentary debuts on Amazon," 2 June 2017 For hardcore Deadheads, only a Ken Burns-style, 14-hour PBS miniseries could truly do the topic justice — maybe someday., "Movie picks: 'Obit,' Grateful Dead documentary, 'Smokey and the Bandit,' QDoc," 17 May 2017 Then again, as one superfan explains in this film, most don’t become Deadheads without some sort of mentor. Jordan Hoffman,, "Long Strange Trip," 26 Jan. 2017

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Most flight attendants would rather deadhead than work a flight. Elliott Hester,, "That flight attendant in a passenger seat? He's not on duty so leave him alone," 1 July 2019 Keep deadheading annual flowers and pulling out dead ones. Real Estate, "Ask the Gardener: Unhappy hosta? The solution may be in your fridge," 5 Sep. 2019 Garden with lower maintenance plants that don’t need as much water, pruning, staking and deadheading. oregonlive, "How to create a garden that’s accessible to all," 2 Sep. 2019 Keep plant blooms deadheaded after they are finished blooming. Betty Cahill, The Denver Post, "Ten tips to ensure a healthy lawn during a Colorado summer," 27 June 2019 Managed in this way, the plant can be deadheaded to prevent seed production and encourage a second period of bloom. Calvin Finch,, "More great plants for color in your San Antonio summer garden," 14 June 2019 Combine the spinosad treatment option with deadheading with a string mower when and if the foliage shows any lace bug symptoms. Calvin Finch, San Antonio Express-News, "The lantana treatment catch-22 and what to do about it," 29 June 2018 If deadheaded, a single plant will produce dozens of flowers over a two-month period. Earl Nickel, San Francisco Chronicle, "Dazzling poppy and calendula brighten the winter garden," 16 Mar. 2018 Then we're instructed about watering, feeding, mulching, staking and deadheading. Homes & Gardens Of The Northwest Staff,, "Garden book review: Bold, beautiful 'Flower-Powered Garden'," 30 May 2018

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.

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First Known Use of deadhead


1841, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1911, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense 1

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Statistics for deadhead

Last Updated

25 Aug 2019

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Time Traveler for deadhead

The first known use of deadhead was in 1841

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More Definitions for deadhead



English Language Learners Definition of deadhead

: to remove dead flowers from (a plant)

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Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with deadhead

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for deadhead

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