head·​line | \ ˈhed-ˌlīn How to pronounce headline (audio) \

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

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Examples of headline in a Sentence

Noun 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. Verb The band is headlining the music festival.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Yellen and Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell have both said the real unemployment rate is closer to 10 percent than the headline rate of 6.3 percent. NBC News, "Over 150 top business executives urge Congress to back Biden's recovery bill," 24 Feb. 2021 But don’t just look at the headline unemployment rate as the gauge. New York Times, "Reading Between the Lines: A Conversation With Janet Yellen," 23 Feb. 2021 PGA Tour winner Patrick Reed headline the list of early commitments for the Arnold Palmer Invitational, slated for March 4-7 at Orlando’s Bay Hill Club & Lodge. Edgar Thompson, orlandosentinel.com, "Rory McIlroy, Rickie Fowler headline early Arnold Palmer Invitational field," 22 Feb. 2021 The headline mistakenly referred to the L.A. teachers union. WSJ, "Corrections & Amplifications," 20 Feb. 2021 Under the headline is the Genesius Times source and a photo that appears to show CNN's coverage. Devon Link, USA TODAY, "Fact check: Satirical post claims Nashville bombing suspect died from COVID," 5 Jan. 2021 Note that the headline unemployment rate was 3.5% at the end of 2019. Andrew Stuttaford, National Review, "The Capital Letter: Week of November 16," 21 Nov. 2020 Watch this measure, rather than the plummeting headline rate of unemployment, for signs of whether the jobs market has truly turned a corner. The Economist, "The World in 2021 Governments must judge if the economic recovery needs more help," 16 Nov. 2020 The digital services — Spotify, Amazon, Pandora, and Google — appealed the determination that would see the headline rate for music publishing royalties rise 44% from 10.5% to 15.1% of revenue during the 2018-2022 term. Ed Christman, Billboard, "Music Publishers Ask CRB to Set Interim Rates, Saying Further Delay May Lead to 'Free-for All'," 3 Nov. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Julia Roberts and Stephan James headline one of the most daring original shows on Amazon Prime, this thriller-drama about memory, conspiracy, and connection. Brian Tallerico, Vulture, "The 50 Best TV Shows on Amazon Prime Right Now," 1 Feb. 2021 Jennifer Lopez will headline the musical performances from New York, joined by Porter, Cyndi Lauper, Jimmie Allen, and Machine Gun Kelly. Tyler Aquilina, EW.com, "President-elect Joe Biden and Dr. Jill Biden to appear on New Year's Rockin' Eve 2021," 30 Dec. 2020 Timberlake, meanwhile, not only appeared at the Grammys, but was allowed to issue an apology at the event, and then went on to headline the Super Bowl halftime show in 2018, while Jackson has never been invited back. Mitchell Peters, Billboard, "Jessica Biel Shows Support for Justin Timberlake After His Apology to Britney Spears & Janet Jackson," 13 Feb. 2021 The Weeknd is set to headline the Super Bowl LV halftime show. Nick Romano, EW.com, "Watch Jazmine Sullivan and Eric Church meld genres on National Anthem duet at the Super Bowl," 8 Feb. 2021 While Gorman is set to headline the pregame festivities, The Weeknd has been announced as the Super Bowl LV halftime performer. Chelsey Sanchez, Harper's BAZAAR, "Inaugural Poet Amanda Gorman Is Headed for the Super Bowl," 27 Jan. 2021 The Weeknd is set to headline the 2021 Super Bowl halftime show, Pepsi announced Thursday. Anika Reed, USA TODAY, "The Weeknd set to perform at 2021 Super Bowl halftime show," 12 Nov. 2020 That’s when defenseman Moritz Seider, who Yzerman drafted with the sixth pick in 2019, is expected to headline a group of young players seemingly ready to challenge for spots on the Wings. Helene St. James, Detroit Free Press, "Steve Yzerman likes 'nucleus of young players' in Detroit Red Wings pipeline," 14 Jan. 2021 Practice pods, remote meets, modifications, and safety protocols now headline the discussions. Andrew Lin, BostonGlobe.com, "Most agree an imperfect swimming season beats no season at all," 1 Jan. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective China’s headline industrial growth figure, which is released monthly, is of questionable value. Nathaniel Taplin, WSJ, "China’s Economic Data: A Guide for the Dazed and Confused," 4 Jan. 2021 Below, more of the year's most headline-worthy masks. Christian Allaire, Vogue, "Masks Became More Than Protection This Year," 29 Dec. 2020 The game offered a basket full of headline-worthy developments, but coach Mike Zimmer's decision with two minutes to play will receive the most scrutiny. Ben Goessling, Star Tribune, "Vikings lose to Seattle 27-26 on fourth-down TD with 15 seconds to play," 12 Oct. 2020 Scott was also scheduled to co-headline Lollapalooza alongside The Strokes and Guns N’ Roses. cleveland, "Coachella, Lollapalooza both canceled for 2020," 10 June 2020 Not exactly headline news, but parenting is complex. Paige Hymson, Los Angeles Times, "Play Next: Lessons from a first podcast, where the rubber meets the road," 6 Aug. 2019 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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Time Traveler for headline Time Traveler

The first known use of headline was in 1771

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Statistics for headline

Last Updated

3 Mar 2021

Cite this Entry

“Headline.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/headline. Accessed 9 Mar. 2021.

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


head·​line | \ ˈhed-ˌlīn How to pronounce headline (audio) \

Kids Definition of headline

: a title of an article in a newspaper

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