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

Padres have high hopes for Garrett Richards; game against Brewers launches right-hander’s head start on 2020 DENVER — Garrett Richards will achieve his goal. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Garrett Richards’ Padres debut is Monday," 14 Sep. 2019 McCready made the contest in conservative district competitive thanks to a head start and the national undercurrent of blowback against Trump. NBC News, "Republican Dan Bishop wins narrow victory in North Carolina special election," 10 Sep. 2019 That strategy hinges on developing accurate data to find would-be Trump voters and using the months-long head start over a still-unknown Democratic opponent to build a ground operation that ensures those voters are registered and get to the polls. Brian Bennett, Time, "Trump's New Math: Inside the Plan to Flip Blue States in 2020," 9 Sep. 2019 The race resumes on October 2, though WWE jumps to a head start with its NXT television debut on September 18. Justin Barrasso, SI.com, "Chris Jericho Becomes All Elite Wrestling's First-Ever World Champion: All Out Takeaways," 1 Sep. 2019 Cueto could get four or five games in September as a head start to the final two seasons of his six-year, $130 million contract. Henry Schulman, SFChronicle.com, "Giants’ Johnny Cueto’s ready to resume bid to pitch until he is 40," 1 Sep. 2019 This year, the brand is giving us a head start on its offer of a free (yes, free) full-sized lipstick with any $25 in-store purchase, kicking off a couple days early on July 27 and running through National Lipstick Day on July 29. Thatiana Diaz, refinery29.com, "MAC Is Giving Away Free Lipstick This Weekend — Here Are All The Details," 25 July 2019 And there is little risk that anyone, especially a Harvard student, is unaware of the economic disparities that give some children a large head start in life. Heather Mac Donald, WSJ, "Who ‘Deserves’ to Go to Harvard?," 13 June 2019 McCready, a solar energy businessman and a moderate Democrat, has been running here since 2017 and has enjoyed an organizational and financial head start. David Wasserman, NBC News, "Trump faces more 2020 danger if Democrat scores upset in N. Carolina special election," 31 Aug. 2019

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

18 Sep 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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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).


formidable, illustrious, or eminent

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