head·​line | \ ˈhed-ˌlīn \

Definition of headline

 (Entry 1 of 3)

1 : words set at the head of a passage or page to introduce or categorize
2a : a head of a newspaper story or article usually printed in large type and giving the gist of the story or article that follows
b headlines plural : front-page news the scandal made headlines


headlined; headlining; headlines

Definition of headline (Entry 2 of 3)

transitive verb

1 : to provide with a headline
2 : to publicize highly
3 : to be engaged as a leading performer in (a show)



Definition of headline (Entry 3 of 3)

: deserving mention in a headline : very noteworthy the headline abduction of a diplomat

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Synonyms for headline

Synonyms: Noun

caption, head, header, heading, rubric, title

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Examples of headline in a Sentence


The story of his arrest appeared beneath the headline “Caught!”. She only had time to scan the headlines before she had to rush out the door. Surprising developments have kept the murder investigation in the headlines for several weeks. She has grabbed the headlines by making public accusations of corruption within the government.


The band is headlining the music festival.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

For every new home tool that folds the laundry, there's a headline about how sales of real, printed books are up. Hadley Mendelsohn, House Beautiful, "This Shapeshifting Clock Changes Design As It Approaches Noon," 9 Jan. 2019 At the time, Trump was gaining steam as a candidate and making headlines for sexist, xenophobic, and homophobic comments and actions. Dan Barna, SELF, "Sia Says She Had Diarrhea After Meeting Donald Trump Backstage at 'Saturday Night Live'," 24 Aug. 2018 Bustos said, repeating a recent headline on an editorial in the New York Times. Deirdre Shesgreen, USA TODAY, "Moderate Democrats push back against "wild-eyed" leftward lurch of the party," 12 July 2018 Miley makes headlines everywhere after her performance at the VMAs, which is filled with twerking, grinding, and foam fingers. Carolyn Twersky, Seventeen, "A Complete Timeline of Miley Cyrus and Liam Hemsworth's Relationship," 27 Dec. 2018 But fortunately the headline of the day is trade peace with U.S. neighbors. James Freeman, WSJ, "Trump Makes a Deal," 1 Oct. 2018 Airlines get repainted all the time—normally, though, without obvious spelling errors, and without making headlines around the world. Katherine Lagrave, Condé Nast Traveler, "Cathay Pacific Misspells Its Own Name on Side of Plane," 19 Sep. 2018 In March of this year, a day before the Cambridge Analytica story made front-page headlines around the world, Carroll filed a legal claim against the company. Issie Lapowsky, WIRED, "UK Regulators May Fine Facebook Over Cambridge Analytica," 10 July 2018 The freedom of press case has made international headlines as a potential pathway to progress for the democratic country where the military still holds much power. Renae Reints, Fortune, "Reuters Journalists Charged with Obtaining State Secrets by Myanmar Court," 9 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Friday will be headlined by the lite-psych crew Tame Impala, and Saturday by the shape-shifting folk group Fleet Foxes. Andrew R. Chow, New York Times, "15 Pop Music Festivals to Catch This Summer," 17 May 2018 With huge headliners including Childish Gambino, Ariana Grande (who will be the youngest person to ever headline the festival) and Tame Impala, there's a lot for festival-goers to be excited about. Sarah Grace Hart, Teen Vogue, ""13 Reasons Why" Star Dylan Minnette's Band Is Playing Coachella 2019," 4 Jan. 2019 BuzzFeed News was the first to point out just how historic this was: Ariana is one of only four singers to headline the huge event (Beyoncé, Lady Gaga, and Bjork are the only other three) and the youngest female artist to have this honor. Katherine J. Igoe, Marie Claire, "Why Ariana Grande Will Make History at Coachella This Year," 3 Jan. 2019 Startup darlings like Uber, Lyft, Pinterest and Slack are expected to headline the best IPO year in recent memory, allowing investors and rank-and-file employees to eventually sell their shares and turn stock into real money. Recode Staff, Recode, "Recode Daily: Wealth managers and charities are looking forward to an IPO-rich 2019," 21 Dec. 2018 Deadline reports that Michelle Yeoh is in talks to headline a standalone series for the streaming service, reprising her role of Emperor / Captain Philippa Georgiou. Andrew Liptak, The Verge, "Star Trek Discovery’s Michelle Yeoh might get her own spinoff show for CBS All Access," 10 Nov. 2018 Danvers is the first female superhero in the Marvel Cinematic Universe to headline her own film, and co-director Anna Boden is the first woman to helm an installment of the MCU. Erica Gonzales, Harper's BAZAAR, "The First Captain Marvel Trailer Teases Brie Larson as Your Next Favorite Superhero," 18 Sep. 2018 Will Smith is set to headline the closing ceremony. Graham Dunbar, chicagotribune.com, "Mbappe's France face Croatia's Modric for the World Cup title," 14 July 2018 The show, announced in early May, was to have been headlined by Beck and Death Cab for Cutie. George Varga, sandiegouniontribune.com, "91X cancels X-Fest 2018, which was to have been headlined by Beck and Death Cab for Cutie," 12 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

While an Instagram follow-for-follow situation isn't usually headline news, much of Bella Hadid and The Weeknd's on-and-off relationship has quietly played out in the app. Zoë Weiner, Teen Vogue, "Bella Hadid and The Weeknd Finally Refollowed Each Other on Instagram," 26 July 2018 While headline inflation fell on an annual basis, core inflation was 1.5% in June and was revised up to 1.5% in May from the earlier estimate of 1.4%. Sam Goldfarb, WSJ, "U.S. Government Bonds Strengthen on Soft Economic Data," 1 Aug. 2017 Headline inflation accelerated for a fifth month to 11.9 percent from 11.3 percent during the same period, the state statistics office said Wednesday -- the highest since 2008 and faster than economists forecast. Onur Ant, Bloomberg.com, "Surprise Core Drop Suggests Turkey Inflation May Have Peaked," 3 May 2017

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


1771, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1860, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1906, in the meaning defined above

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Statistics for headline

Last Updated

20 Jan 2019

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Time Traveler for headline

The first known use of headline was in 1771

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More Definitions for headline



English Language Learners Definition of headline

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: the title written in large letters over a story in a newspaper

headlines : the major news stories reported in newspapers, magazines, or television news programs



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

: to provide (a newspaper story) with a headline

: to be the main performer in (a show or concert)


head·​line | \ ˈhed-ˌlīn \

Kids Definition of headline

: a title of an article in a newspaper

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More from Merriam-Webster on headline

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with headline

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for headline

Spanish Central: Translation of headline

Nglish: Translation of headline for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of headline for Arabic Speakers

Comments on headline

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


to settle judicially or to act as judge

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