head·​dress | \ ˈhed-ˌdres \

Definition of headdress

: an often elaborate covering for the head

Illustration of headdress

Illustration of headdress

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Synonyms for headdress


cap, chapeau, hat, headgear, headpiece, lid [slang]

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Examples of headdress in a Sentence

The dancers wore ceremonial headdresses. most of the acrobats riding the horses and elephants wore some sort of fancy headdress

Recent Examples on the Web

There, she was pictured wearing a għonnella or faldetta, a traditional hooded headdress and shawl. Erica Gonzales, Harper's BAZAAR, "Meghan Markle's Recently-Surfaced Photos from Malta Prove She Was Destined to Be Royal," 30 Nov. 2018 The Maine West Warrior was personified by a student dressed in a buckskin-like costume and a feathered headdress. John Keilman, chicagotribune.com, "Maine West High School retires American Indian mascot following debate over use," 1 May 2018 Pieces on view, including an elaborate headdress and a nose ornament (both 1st-7th century), contain dangling elements that would have glittered and made sounds as the wearer moved—evocative reminders of jewelry’s affinity for spectacle. Susan Delson, WSJ, "Bling Through the Ages," 1 Nov. 2018 On the cover, the singer looks positively queenlike in a selection of Louis Vuitton, Valentino, and Gucci ensembles and elaborate headdresses, glowing in minimal makeup. Andrea Park, Allure, "Beyoncé Opens Up About Learning to Accept and Love Her Post-Baby Body," 6 Aug. 2018 Here was an Arab eating kosher food in a headdress made for a kid. Harrison Smith, latimes.com, "Mel Weinberg, con artist at center of Abscam sting that landed U.S. politicians in prison, dies at 93," 9 June 2018 Most of the time, they’re drawn wearing elaborate headdresses and carrying spears, spear throwers, and other objects. Kiona N. Smith, Ars Technica, "The world’s oldest figurative drawing depicts a wounded animal," 9 Nov. 2018 But then, on Monday night, Madonna drifted out on stage in a black kaftan complete with a headdress, a layering of necklaces, colorful beaded cuffs, and swinging four blonde braids. Christina Coleman, Glamour, "We Need to Talk About Madonna's 'Tribute' to Aretha Franklin at the 2018 VMAs," 21 Aug. 2018 The ensemble appeared even more striking with the addition of stunning jewelry—rings, necklaces, and bejeweled tikka headdress. Janelle Okwodu, Vogue, "Bollywood’s Biggest Couple Deepika Padukone and Ranveer Singh Tie the Knot in Lake Como," 15 Nov. 2018

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

1645, in the meaning defined above

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Dictionary Entries near headdress

head court

head dip

head ditch


head dropper



Statistics for headdress

Last Updated

3 Jan 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for headdress

The first known use of headdress was in 1645

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More Definitions for headdress



English Language Learners Definition of headdress

: a decorative covering for your head


head·​dress | \ ˈhed-ˌdres \

Kids Definition of headdress

: a covering or ornament for the head

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More from Merriam-Webster on headdress

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with headdress

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for headdress

Spanish Central: Translation of headdress

Nglish: Translation of headdress for Spanish Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about headdress

Comments on headdress

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


a complex dispute or argument

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