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

The information operatives who worked out of the Internet Research Agency in St. Petersburg … created a number of Twitter accounts that posed as sources for Americans' hometown headlines. James Hohmann, Washington Post, "The Daily 202: GOP candidates caught in a bind on Medicaid," 13 July 2018 Chris Stapleton, Modest Mouse and Arcade Fire headline the 2018 Forecastle lineup of artist. Louisville Courier Journal, The Courier-Journal, "Can you get in the water at Forecastle Festival? It really depends," 13 July 2018 The high-cost of Markle’s wardrobe has generated headlines in the last few weeks, with some estimates touching the low millions. Rachel King, Fortune, "Meghan Markle Is Being Credited With Boosting Aritzia's Earnings. But Is the 'Meghan Effect' Real?," 13 July 2018 Now, headline investment growth levels are stalling. Nathaniel Taplin, WSJ, "China’s Land Grab Could End Badly," 13 July 2018 Yet as faces and headlines pop on and off the screen, the chronology and the movie’s direction grow fuzzy. Kimberly Reed, New York Times, "Review: Tracking ‘Dark Money’ in Montana Elections," 12 July 2018 There have been many pieces written about the anxiety-inducing second season’s parallels to the year’s news headlines, from ICE’s role in the series to the show’s depiction of the marginalization of LGBT people and restrictions on women’s rights. Tony Bravo, SFChronicle.com, "Swearing off the dystopia of ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’ (spoilers included)," 12 July 2018 This week, a career dream will come true when the 29-year-old Brookline native headlines in his hometown for the first time, with a three-night stand at Laugh Boston. Nick A. Zaino Iii, BostonGlobe.com, "Comic Alex Edelman took the long way back to Boston," 12 July 2018 Wide receivers Davion Davis and Nathan Stewart headline six first-team preseason Southland Conference offensive selections for Sam Houston State, which advanced to last year’s FCS football semifinals for the third time in four years. Richard Dean, Houston Chronicle, "Sam Houston State places 9 on Southland Conference preseason teams," 12 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Vice President Mike Pence will headline a Philadelphia fundraiser for Pennsylvania’s Republican candidate for U.S. Senate, Lou Barletta. Wire Reports, Philly.com, "Mike Pence to headline Lou Barletta fundraiser at Union League," 12 July 2018 Transcendent, two-time GRAMMY® Award-winning rock band Evanescence and acclaimed Billboard Award-winning electronic violinist Lindsey Stirling bring their co-headlining tour to Riverbend Music Center on Saturday, July 14. Cincinnati.com, "Win Tickets to Evanescence + Lindsey Stirling," 6 July 2018 The bands’ co-headlining tour will feature an avalanche of feel-good classic rock songs that celebrate endurance and survival. Bill Brownlee, kansascity, "KC concerts June 21-27: Macklemore & Kesha; Lucinda Williams, Steve Earle & Dwight Yoakam," 19 June 2018 Don't miss the co-headlining show featuring Styx and Joan Jett & The Blackhearts with special guests Tesla. Indianapolis Star, "See Styx and Joan Jett & The Blackhearts," 19 June 2018 On Monday, the band will kick off a co-headlining tour with fellow indie mainstays Grizzly Bear at Blue Hills Bank Pavilion. Robert Steiner, BostonGlobe.com, "Indie inspiration as Spoon, Grizzly Bear team up on tour," 14 June 2018 Which makes a co-headlining comedy show a pretty big deal. Houston Chronicle, "Must List: Eagles, Jon Stewart and ‘2001’," 13 June 2018 Jordan’s brave last appearance with his sons in 2009 to a glass-ceiling-shattering co-headlining appearance by last year’s National Endowment of the Arts National Heritage Fellowship winner Eva Ybarra. Hector Saldana, San Antonio Express-News, "Musicians, fans get happy at Tejano Conjunto Festival," 16 May 2018 The two singers' co-headlining tour (with an opening set from Pictureplane, the ambitious avant-garde electronic project from the New York producer Travis Egedy) was a particularly bold and current booking. August Brown, latimes.com, "Alice Glass and Zola Jesus provide a soundtrack to the #MeToo era," 27 Apr. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

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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Learn More about headline

Phrases Related to headline

grab (the) headlines

Statistics for headline

Last Updated

1 Sep 2018

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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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an open space surrounded by woods

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