head·​ache | \ ˈhed-ˌāk How to pronounce headache (audio) \

Definition of headache

1 : pain in the head
2 : a vexatious or baffling situation or problem meetings had become a giant headache— Franklin Foer

Other Words from headache

headachy or less commonly headachey \ ˈhed-​ˌā-​kē How to pronounce headache (audio) \ adjective

Synonyms for headache


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Examples of headache in a Sentence

I'm starting to get a headache. The symptoms include fever and headache. The city's biggest headache is traffic. Managing your finances can be a real headache.
Recent Examples on the Web Deliveries of the 787 have been halted for a year as Boeing worked through inspections and repairs in an industrial headache expected to cost about $5.5 billion. Reuters, NBC News, 13 May 2022 That’s because migraine is no ordinary headache—it’s a neurological disease that can severely affect your quality of life. Abigail Libers, SELF, 13 May 2022 Doing the same for the iPhone might not be as seamless, but Apple will avoid an enormous legal headache. Jacob Siegal, BGR, 11 May 2022 Name a ship for a Democratic president, same headache. Bob Greene, WSJ, 10 May 2022 For industries ranging from Big Tech to consumer goods, that's destroying both supply and demand — and giving executives another major headache. Michelle Toh, CNN, 10 May 2022 At the hospital after the attack on the school bus, a doctor diagnosed Alex with syncope (or passing out), a headache, very strong stomach pains and nausea, according to a medical document shared with The New York Times. New York Times, 9 May 2022 This is just one of the many minor inconveniences that are contributing to a major headache. Jay Nordlinger, National Review, 4 May 2022 When looking into the effects of birth control and migraines, doctors have to examine whether or not the migraines have auras - which is a reoccurring headache that strikes after or at the same time as sensory disturbances i.e. flashing lights. Ebony Williams, ajc, 2 May 2022 See More

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

First Known Use of headache

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

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Time Traveler for headache

Time Traveler

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

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Dictionary Entries Near headache



headache plant

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Statistics for headache

Last Updated

16 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Headache.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/headache. Accessed 16 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for headache


head·​ache | \ ˈhed-ˌāk How to pronounce headache (audio) \

Kids Definition of headache

1 : pain in the head
2 : something that annoys or confuses This traffic is a real headache.


head·​ache | \ ˈhed-ˌāk How to pronounce headache (audio) \

Medical Definition of headache

: pain in the head

called also cephalalgia

Other Words from headache

headachy \ -​ˌā-​kē How to pronounce headache (audio) \ adjective

More from Merriam-Webster on headache

Nglish: Translation of headache for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of headache for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about headache


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