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

Keep scrolling for more

Synonyms for headline

Synonyms: Noun

caption, head, header, heading, rubric, title

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

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.
See More

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

But the singer made headlines for more than just his big win that night. Kelly O'sullivan, Country Living, "Jason Aldean's Wife Brittany Kerr Says It's Been 'Difficult' to Get Fit After Second Baby," 7 Apr. 2019 Here’s your guide to some area county fairs with information on costs, headline entertainment and some highlights of each fair. Annie Alleman, Aurora Beacon-News, "County fairs are a throwback for bustling suburbs," 5 July 2018 But admissions staff have been hearing rumblings from students and parents abroad – some alarmed by news headlines about violence and bias incidents at US schools, others worried about real or potential visa restrictions. Stacy Teicher Khadaroo, The Christian Science Monitor, "International students to US: Do you really want us?," 2 July 2018 While the beaches and theme parks get Florida’s tourist headlines, don’t cry for Highlands County. Richard Tribou, OrlandoSentinel.com, "52 excuses to visit Florida's Highlands County," 1 July 2018 For example, kale reappearing on the list will likely make headlines, despite the lack of data on whether or not eating high amounts of kale can actually harm to you. Jaclyn London, Ms, Rd, Cdn, Good Housekeeping, "The New Dirty Dozen and Clean Fifteen Are Here — But Should You Care?," 20 Mar. 2019 The Browns, coming off a tumultuous 7-8-1 season that followed an 0-16 record in 2017, are creating headlines by giving Hunt a second chance even as the NFL has not yet decided on his status. Tom Withers, The Seattle Times, "Browns give troubled running back Kareem Hunt second chance," 12 Feb. 2019 The thinking behind prototype parity was to encourage some LMP2 teams from Asia or Europe to enter the odd IMSA race, and United Autosports got plenty of headlines by running Fernando Alonso in an LMP2 car at Daytona. Jonathan M. Gitlin, Ars Technica, "The Petit Le Mans: More proof we’re in a golden age for sportscar racing," 18 Oct. 2018 After that, O’Rourke doesn’t have another headline-grabbing event on his schedule — at least not yet. ___ Weissert reported from Austin, Texas. Will Weissert, The Seattle Times, "Beto O’Rourke says he’ll decide on 2020 run by month’s end," 5 Feb. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Things got very awkward during Cardi B's headlining set on stage at the Rolling Loud festival in Los Angeles Saturday night: Her soon-to-be ex-husband, Offset, interrupted her performance in a very public way to ask her back. Whitney Perry, Glamour, "Offset Crashed Cardi B's Headlining Set to Win Her Back, and It Did Not Work," 16 Dec. 2018 Jared Kushner, Trump's son-in-law and chief Mideast adviser, headlined the U.S. delegation with his wife and fellow White House adviser, Ivanka Trump, as well as Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and four Republican senators. Fares Akram And Josef Federman, Houston Chronicle, "58 dead in Gaza protests as Israel fetes US Embassy move," 14 May 2018 Also this Sunday, Eminem will start his headlining set at 10:15p.m. George Varga, sandiegouniontribune.com, "Coachella 2018 Weekend Two set times released; high winds and heat forecast," 19 Apr. 2018 The weekend's other headlining announcement came on Sunday when Fairfield's Erick All gave his verbal commitment to Michigan. Cincinnati Enquirer, Cincinnati.com, "Recruiting Trail: Briggs, All highlight 8-commitment weekend," 25 June 2018 James will perform 14 headlining dates at historic theaters, with Alynda Segarra from Hurray for the Riff Raff opening. Jeffrey Lee Puckett, The Courier-Journal, "Jim James solo tour is coming to the Louisville Palace," 18 June 2018 Speculation intensified in March when Merkley headlined a meeting of the New Hampshire Democratic Party's executive committee in March. Jeff Manning, OregonLive.com, "Jeff Merkley, White House exchange jabs over migrant children detainees," 4 June 2018 My preteen self couldn’t even fathom seeing an Asian face on the cover of a mainstream magazine or leading a TV show or headlining a movie. Michelle Lee, Allure, "Allure Editor in Chief Michelle Lee on the Importance of Inclusivity in Beauty," 15 May 2018 There's more music set for the NFL's biggest night, as Maroon 5 will headline the famed halftime show. Erica Gonzales, Harper's BAZAAR, "Gladys Knight Shines in a White Dress While Singing the National Anthem at the Super Bowl," 3 Feb. 2019

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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about headline

Statistics for headline

Last Updated

14 Apr 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for headline

The first known use of headline was in 1771

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

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

Keep scrolling for more

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).


having no equal

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Words from Greek and Latin Quiz

  • roman forum
  • Which of the following months comes from a Latin word for “ten”?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

Word Winder's CrossWinder

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!