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

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

The headlines Burning River: For decades, the Cuyahoga River was an open sewer. Cliff Pinckard, cleveland.com, "Cuyahoga River celebrates 50 years of renewal: The Wake Up for Monday, June 17, 2019," 17 June 2019 Baltimore Symphony Orchestra made headlines this month after musicians, donors and members of the public learned the organization is in dire financial straits. Baltimore Sun Staff, baltimoresun.com, "How the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra found itself in trouble," 17 June 2019 Note: The date in this headline has been corrected. Olivia Prentzel, nola.com, "1 woman killed, 1 woman injured in Central City on Saturday night: NOPD," 15 June 2019 Lawrence, now 83, made headlines last week after a public announcement, in a letter shared by his publicist Howard Bragman, revealing that the singer has been diagnosed with the early stages of Alzheimer’s disease. Philip Potempa, Post-Tribune, "Singer Steve Lawrence a favorite for Father’s Day memories," 14 June 2019 Cyrus also made headlines in the last few weeks for speaking out against being groped in Barcelona. Rachel Yang, EW.com, "Miley Cyrus apologizes for 'racially insensitive' comments about hip-hop," 12 June 2019 Hunter has already made headlines since Joe Biden jumped into the presidential race. Caroline Linton, CBS News, "Joe Biden confirms son Hunter remarried," 12 June 2019 This sense of an ancient diversity of human ritualistic use lends context to the attention cannabis receives in contemporary headlines, says Spengler. Emily Willingham, Scientific American, "Using Marijuana to Get High Dates Back Millennia," 12 June 2019 Because national and international media were in town for the Super Bowl, headlines about the riots spread around the world and created a public outcry, not unlike the one surrounding Peterson. Andrew Boryga, sun-sentinel.com, "Former school cop Scot Peterson: He’s been called a coward, but is that a crime?," 7 June 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

On Sunday, Humphries will headline a 15-song concert at the Lexington Opera House with all proceeds going to benefit the Ronald McDonald House of the Bluegrass. Jon Hale, The Courier-Journal, "Morning Coffee: This former Kentucky player will use his voice to support a good cause," 20 June 2019 In the years since, Bentley has been a constant presence on country radio, while touring with Kenny Chesney, Brad Paisley and Miranda Lambert, as well as headlining his own gigs. Ross Raihala, Twin Cities, "Dierks Bentley is the final act announced for the Minnesota State Fair Grandstand," 4 June 2019 In fact, Kendall and Shawn Mendes showed support for their friend by attending the last concert on Harry’s headlining tour in 2018. Teen Vogue, "Harry Styles and Kendall Jenner Reunited at Met Gala 2019," 7 May 2019 There's much speculation about what Coachella headliners Ariana Grande and Beyoncé were paid for headlining two weekends of the festival in 2019 and 2018, respectively. Erica Gonzales, Harper's BAZAAR, "Actually, Ariana Grande and Beyoncé Were Probably Paid About the Same for Coachella," 19 Apr. 2019 The rookies will join second-year guard Derrick White in headlining the roster in Salt Lake City. Tom Orsborn, San Antonio Express-News, "Spurs rookies Walker, Metu in spotlight Friday," 28 June 2018 Westgate Entertainment District is anchored by Gila River Arena, home to the Arizona Coyotes and a venue for headlining concerts and major events. Jennifer Mcclellan, azcentral, "Calico Jacks closes at Westgate in Glendale; The Lola restaurant to take over," 22 May 2018 Rather than headlining a public event, Mr. Clinton was urged to attend a fund-raiser already scheduled in the Washington area — a suggestion that offended the former president, according to people briefed on the awkward exchange. Alexander Burns, New York Times, "Hillary and Bill Clinton Go Separate Ways for 2018 Midterm Elections," 21 May 2018 If Clark’s manager hadn’t taken the fall for his client, Al’s only competition for headlining the tour would have been eliminated. Ariana Romero, refinery29.com, "The Dark Meaning Of The Atlanta Season 2 Finale," 11 May 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

23 Jun 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
: 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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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

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showing courage and determination

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