head start


Definition of head start

1 : an advantage granted or achieved at the beginning of a race, a chase, or a competition a 10-minute head start
2 : a favorable or promising beginning

Examples of head start in a Sentence

They gave me a five-minute head start. She took some extra classes to get a head start in her career. His natural athletic talent gave him a head start on his peers.
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Recent Examples on the Web

Planting Eggplant Give eggplants a head start on the growing season by starting them indoors, six to nine weeks before the average last frost. The Editors, Good Housekeeping, "The Secret to Growing the Most Flavorful Eggplants," 27 July 2018 The change is a step to venture beyond the tech giant’s user base, which is large but currently tethered to device owners, to effectively compete with companies that have a big head start... Tripp Mickle, WSJ, "Apple TV on a Samsung? iPhone Giant Makes Risky Jump to Other Devices to Sell Services," 26 Mar. 2019 Democrats acknowledge that Trump has a head start in fine-tuning the campaign’s data and online fundraising capabilities. Michelle Ye Hee Lee, The Seattle Times, "Trump reelection campaign has $100 million head start over Democrats," 16 Oct. 2018 Students who put off networking until after getting their degrees might not secure employment as fast as those who had four-year head starts. Valencia Higuera, The Seattle Times, "9 biggest career mistakes college grads make," 20 Feb. 2019 Xalkori’s approval gave Pfizer a head start studying patients whose tumors became resistant to the drug, according to company officials and Dr. Shaw. Jared S. Hopkins, WSJ, "Pfizer Pivots to Cancer Drugs for Growth," 27 Jan. 2019 By announcing early, Warren was able to get a head start amongst her colleagues who are also predicted to run, including Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), Senator Kamala Harris (D-CA), and Senator Cory Booker (D-NJ). Rachel Epstein, Marie Claire, "How to Tell If a Candidate Is Planning to Run for President in 2020," 31 Dec. 2018 Cars have had almost a century’s head start over electric scooters, so cities are designed with cars in mind, leaving room for little else on streets. Umair Irfan, Vox, "The scooter stampede of 2018 is great news for urban transportation," 5 Dec. 2018 The company had a multi-year head start and by all accounts is still several years ahead of rivals. Timothy B. Lee, Ars Technica, "Waymo’s ambitious plans for high-speed taxis could be holding it back," 3 Dec. 2018

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

1859, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Dictionary Entries near head start




head start

head stay



Statistics for head start

Last Updated

17 Apr 2019

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Time Traveler for head start

The first known use of head start was in 1859

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More Definitions for head start

head start


Kids Definition of head start

: an advantage given at the beginning (as to a school child or a runner)

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More from Merriam-Webster on head start

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with head start

Spanish Central: Translation of head start

Nglish: Translation of head start for Spanish Speakers

Comments on head start

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


to speak slightingly about or to degrade

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