head

noun
\ ˈhed How to pronounce head (audio) \

Definition of head

 (Entry 1 of 3)

1 : the upper or anterior division of the animal body that contains the brain, the chief sense organs, and the mouth nodded his head in agreement
2a : the seat of the intellect : mind two heads are better than one
b : a person with respect to mental qualities let wiser heads prevail
c : natural aptitude or talent a good head for figures
d : mental or emotional control : poise a level head
e : headache
3 : the obverse (see obverse entry 2 sense 1) of a coin usually used in plural call heads or tails
4a : person, individual count heads
b plural head : one of a number (as of domestic animals) sold twenty head of cattle
5a : the end that is upper or higher or opposite the foot the head of the table head of a sail
b : the source of a stream or river the head of the Nile
c : either end of something (such as a drum) whose two ends need not be distinguished
6 : director, leader: such as
b : one in charge of a division or department in an office or institution the head of the English department met with the other department heads
b : the foliaged part of a plant especially when consisting of a compact mass of leaves, flowers, or fruit a head of lettuce a single head of grain
8a : the leading element of a military column or a procession
b : headway often she had to fight for her head as the press of sail buried her bow— C. V. Reilly
9a : the uppermost extremity or projecting part of an object : top the head of a bolt
b : the striking part of a weapon, tool, or implement the head of an ax
c : the rounded proximal end of a long bone (such as the humerus)
d : the end of a muscle nearest the origin
e : the oval part of a printed musical note
10a : a body of water kept in reserve at a height also : the containing bank, dam, or wall
b : a mass of water in motion (as in a rip current)
11a : the difference in elevation between two points in a body of fluid
b : the resulting pressure of the fluid at the lower point expressible as this height broadly : pressure of a fluid an engine with a full head of steam
12a : the bow and adjacent parts of a ship
b : a ship's toilet broadly : toilet sense 1
13 : the approximate length of the head of a horse won by a head
14 : the place of leadership, honor, or command at the head of her class
15a(1) : a word or series of words often in larger letters placed at the beginning of a passage or at the top of a page in order to introduce or categorize
(2) : a separate part or topic heads of a sermon
b : a portion of a page or sheet that is above the first line of printing
16 : the foam or scum that rises on a fermenting or effervescing liquid (such as beer)
17a : the part of a boil, pimple, or abscess at which it is likely to break
b : culminating point of action : crisis events came to a head
18a : a part or attachment of a machine or machine tool containing a device (such as a cutter or drill) turret head of a lathe also : the part of an apparatus that performs the chief function or a particular function a drill head
b magnetic recording : an electromagnet used as a transducer for recording on, reading, or erasing a magnetic medium (such as tape or a disk)
19 grammar : an immediate constituent of a construction that can have the same grammatical function as the whole (such as man in "an old man," "a very old man," or "the man in the street")
20a : one who uses a drug often used in combination pothead
b : a devoted enthusiast : aficionado often used in combination computerhead
21 usually vulgar : fellatio, cunnilingus usually used with give
by the head
: drawing the greater depth of water forward
off one's head out of one's head
: delirious Her parents were out of their heads with worry.
over one's head
1 : beyond one's comprehension or competence the most awful intellectual detail, all of it over my head— E. B. White
2 : so as to pass over one's superior standing or authority went over my head to complain

head

adjective

Definition of head (Entry 2 of 3)

1 : of, relating to, or intended for the upper or anterior division of the animal body that contains the brain, the chief sense organs, and the mouth : of, relating to, or intended for the head (see head entry 1 sense 1) head injuries
2 : principal, chief head cook
3 : located at the end that is upper or higher : situated at the head (see head entry 1 sense 5a) head sails
4 : coming from in front head sea

head

verb
headed; heading; heads

Definition of head (Entry 3 of 3)

transitive verb

1 : behead
2a : to put the striking part of a weapon, tool, or implement on : fit a head (see head entry 1 sense 9b) to head an arrow
b : to form the uppermost extremity or projecting part of : to form the head or top of tower headed by a spire
3 : to act as leader or director of : to act as head (see head entry 1 sense 6) to head a revolt
4a : to get in front of so as to hinder, stop, or turn back head a herd of cattle
b : to take a lead over (as in a race) : surpass
c : to pass (a stream) by going round above the source
5a : to place something at the beginning or top of (something) in order to introduce or categorize : to put something at the head of (something, as a list) Each page was headed with the writer's name.
b : to stand as the first or leading member of heads the list of heroes
6 : to set the course of head a ship northward
7 : to hit and propel (something, such as a soccer ball) with the head (see head entry 1 sense 1) headed the ball into the goal

intransitive verb

1 : to form a compact mass of leaves or fruit : to form a head (see head entry 1 sense 7b) This type of cabbage heads early.
2 : to point or proceed in a certain direction headed south
3 : to have a source : originate The river heads in those mountains.

Keep scrolling for more

Synonyms for head

Synonyms: Noun

Synonyms: Adjective

Synonyms: Verb

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

Examples of head in a Sentence

Noun She patted the dog on the head. He nodded his head in agreement. The ceiling's low—watch your head! Adjective as head editor at the TV station for 17 years, he has hired and fired innumerable staff members Verb The group was headed by the church pastor. He was accused of heading the revolt. I hopped in the car and headed down the street. After lunch, we headed back to the office. She headed out early this morning. The birds have already started heading south for the winter. The forward headed the ball into the goal.
See More
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun There's always one shot that leaves a golfer shaking his or her head. Mike Hutton, Post-Tribune, "Crown Point's Yianni Kostouros keeps momentum going in Northern Amateur," 19 July 2017 Delimitros said one of the truck’s side view mirrors struck her in the head, causing minor injuries. David Hernandez, sandiegouniontribune.com, "Police: Pickup driver deliberately hits traffic controller near Convention Center," 19 July 2017 Cal Fire representatives said the current parking mess has already impacted them because the driveway to their station enters the highway not far from the trail head. J. Harry Jones, Ramona Sentinel, "Groups brainstorm solutions to Mt. Woodson parking," 19 July 2017 Now, Maineri heads into year 12 with 18 pitchers on his roster, hoping that rising junior Caleb Gilbert and sophomore-to-be Zach Hess will emerge at the top of the pitching rotation. John Roach, NOLA.com, "LSU's Ed Orgeron answers on ESPN: 'What is the biggest change you've brought?'," 19 July 2017 Turning this on its head, the susceptibility of Bose– Thilo Stöferle, Ars Technica, "The science of Spectral: Is that really how Bose–Einstein condensate behaves?," 18 July 2017 Head over to PCWorld’s comprehensive Windows 10 Creators Update review for the full rundown and extensive hands-on impressions, or our round-up of the Creators Update’s best new features. Brad Chacos, PCWorld, "Windows 10 Creators Update FAQ: Everything you need to know," 17 July 2017 The Senate bill would also require the head of Air Force Space Command to serve for six years, rather than two or four years. Jay Bennett, Popular Mechanics, "Space Corps Military Branch Approved by House," 15 July 2017 Facing a potential recall, Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett has a huge head start on anyone who wants to run for his job. Bill Glauber, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett raised $123,000 in first six months of the year," 14 July 2017 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective The 63-year-old had served as head coach of the 2012 U.S. women’s Olympic gymnastics team, which won a gold medal with the help of Olympians including Gabby Douglas. Stephanie Toone, ajc, "Ex-Olympics gymnastics coach John Geddert dies by suicide hours after sex abuse charges filed," 25 Feb. 2021 Propst is now head coach at Valdosta High School, historically among more successful programs in the country. Creg Stephenson | Cstephenson@al.com, al, "Rush Propst under investigation for alleged misconduct in Georgia, reports say," 24 Feb. 2021 The Spurs’ Gregg Popovich, who will be the head coach of Team USA at the Tokyo Olympics this summer, doesn’t handle the qualifiers. Mike Finger, San Antonio Express-News, "On his way to Team USA, San Antonio's Chris Daniels saw the world," 9 Feb. 2021 Daboll received 28 votes while second-place finisher Brandon Staley, the Los Angeles Rams’ defensive coordinator who is now the head coach of the Los Angeles Chargers, got 5.5 votes. Mark Inabinett | Minabinett@al.com, al, "Brian Daboll among winners at NFL Honors," 7 Feb. 2021 Dente is the head coach of both the girls and boys basketball programs at Copley High School. cleveland, "Double duty is double the fun for Copley girls (and boys) coach Mark Dente: NE Ohio girls basketball Top 25," 22 Jan. 2021 Dan Fitzpatrick is head video coordinator and Conor Dunleavy is the assistant video coordinator, as well as holding a player development role; both were with the team each of the last two seasons. Houston Mitchell Assistant Sports Editor, Los Angeles Times, "The Sports Report: Why the Lakers traded for Dennis Schröder," 17 Nov. 2020 Baiting the Giants with play-action all night, Mayfield had a field day on the way to 10-4 with his ex-head coach in Kitchens calling the plays for the Giants. cleveland, "Baker Mayfield sets team completion percentage record in 20-6 victory over the Giants, moving the Browns to 10-4," 20 Dec. 2020 His game drew the praise of co-head coach Henry Russell, who has seen the young quarterback develop as a leader on the field. Kyle J. Andrews, baltimoresun.com, "Featured in HBO’s ‘The Cost of Winning’ documentary, St. Frances quarterback John Griffith relying on faith in uncertain times," 28 Nov. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Ben Redman, the schools head girls basketball coach and assistant boys coach, is also the team’s cross country coach. Ding! Ben Thomas | Bthomas@al.com, al, "Trolli Transformation: How did Spanish Fort guard Kolby Horace drop 50 pounds?," 27 Feb. 2021 Warriors head coach Steve Kerr lauded Santa Cruz guard Jeremy Lin for his impassioned Instagram post Thursday railing against the wave of anti-Asian-American violence across the country. Connor Letourneau, San Francisco Chronicle, "Warriors' Steve Kerr lauds Jeremy Lin for post on racism against Asian Americans," 26 Feb. 2021 Even more impressive has been the culture of success that head coach Nicholas Myles has cultivated at the small Catholic school on East Chase Street in Baltimore since taking over prior to the 2011-12 season. Kyle J. Andrews, baltimoresun.com, "Baltimore Catholic League All-Decade Boys Basketball," 25 Feb. 2021 Coyotes head coach Rick Tocchet said such special games would mean a lot to the players. Jose M. Romero, The Arizona Republic, "As NHL outdoor games near, Coyotes hoping for chance to take part in league showcases," 18 Feb. 2021 And even that chance came only because Chuck Pagano was forced to step away as Colts head coach to battle cancer in 2012. Mark Craig, Star Tribune, "Super Bowl coaches Andy Reid and Bruce Arians are cut from the same cloth," 6 Feb. 2021 So head coach Dwane Casey turned to Rodney McGruder — a 6-foot-4 wing who had played point guard sparingly at his past stops. Omari Sankofa Ii, Detroit Free Press, "Why Dwane Casey must be creative with Detroit Pistons' point guard rotation," 3 Feb. 2021 Warriors head coach Steve Kerr clapped his hands, erupted from his seat and yelled in approval. Connor Letourneau, SFChronicle.com, "James Wiseman outduels Anthony Edwards in Warriors’ win over Timberwolves," 27 Jan. 2021 Trojans head coach Clay Helton seems to finally be putting up a border around his state. Stephen Means, cleveland, "Domani Jackson, 2022 Ohio State football five-star CB target, commits to USC: Buckeyes Recruiting," 23 Jan. 2021

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'head.' 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 head

Noun

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Adjective

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Verb

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

History and Etymology for head

Noun, Adjective, and Verb

Middle English hed, from Old English hēafod; akin to Old High German houbit head, Latin caput

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about head

Time Traveler for head

Time Traveler

The first known use of head was before the 12th century

See more words from the same century

Statistics for head

Cite this Entry

“Head.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/head. Accessed 7 Mar. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLA Chicago APA Merriam-Webster

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for head

head

noun

English Language Learners Definition of head

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: the part of the body containing the brain, eyes, ears, nose, and mouth
: a person's mental ability : mind or intellect
: a person who has a specified mental or emotional quality

head

verb

English Language Learners Definition of head (Entry 2 of 2)

: to be the leader of (something)
: to be first on (a list)
: to go in a specified direction or toward a specified place

head

noun
\ ˈhed How to pronounce head (audio) \

Kids Definition of head

 (Entry 1 of 3)

1 : the part of the body containing the brain, eyes, ears, nose, and mouth
2 : mind entry 1 sense 1 Mom has a good head for figures.
3 : control of the mind or feelings He kept his head during the emergency.
4 : the side of a coin or medal usually thought of as the front
5 : director sense 1, leader She's the head of the school department.
6 : each person among a number Count heads to make sure everyone is here.
7 plural head : a unit of number They own 100 head of cattle.
8 : something like a head in position or use the head of a bed
9 : the place where a stream begins
10 : a tight mass of plant parts (as leaves or flowers) a head of cabbage
11 : a part of a machine, tool, or weapon that performs the main work head of a spear shower head
12 : a place of leadership or honor He is at the head of his class.
13 : climax, crisis Events came to a head.
over someone's head
: beyond someone's understanding Their discussion was way over my head.

head

adjective

Kids Definition of head (Entry 2 of 3)

1 : chief entry 2 sense 1 He's the head coach.
2 : located at the front We sat at the head table.
3 : coming from in front We sailed into a head wind.

head

verb
headed; heading

Kids Definition of head (Entry 3 of 3)

1 : to be the leader of She headed the investigation.
2 : to go or cause to go in a certain direction Let's head for home.
3 : to be first or get in front of He heads the list of candidates.
4 : to provide with or form a head This cabbage heads early.

head

noun
\ ˈhed How to pronounce head (audio) \

Medical Definition of head

1 : the division of the human body that contains the brain, the eyes, the ears, the nose, and the mouth also : the corresponding anterior division of the body of various animals including all vertebrates, most arthropods, and many mollusks and worms
2 : headache
3 : a projection or extremity especially of an anatomical part: as
a : the rounded proximal end of a long bone (as the humerus)
b : the end of a muscle nearest the origin
c : the anterior end of an invertebrate : scolex
4 : the part of a boil, pimple, or abscess at which it is likely to break
5 : the end of a lipid molecule that consists of a polar group and is regarded as being opposite to the tail

Other Words from head

head adjective

Keep scrolling for more

head

noun

Legal Definition of head

: any of a number of individuals
by heads
: per capita used in the rules of intestate succession in Louisiana

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on head

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for head

Nglish: Translation of head for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of head for Arabic Speakers

Comments on head

What made you want to look up head? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

Test Your Vocabulary

Who Knew?

Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
Typeshift

Anagram puzzles meet word search.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

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