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 Ghosn, an outspoken executive whose late 2018 arrest made headlines around the world, has denied the charges and accused the Japanese justice system of being rigged against him. Time, "Former Green Beret Arrested in U.S. on Charges He Helped Carlos Ghosn Flee Custody in Japan," 22 May 2020 Recent business headlines have been dominated by impressive e-commerce growth for the likes of Walmart, Target, Best Buy, and Costco during the COVID-19 pandemic. Phil Wahba, Fortune, "Why Shopify is betting small business can get in on the coronavirus e-commerce boom," 22 May 2020 Earlier in the day, Biden made headlines upon the announcement of a June 2 fundraising event with Andrew Weissmann, a former Justice Department lawyer who was a top prosecutor for special counsel Robert Mueller's Russia investigation. Anthony Leonardi, Washington Examiner, "Biden enters 'new phase' kicking out reporter from Wall Street fundraiser," 21 May 2020 Bring On The Pacers!’ exclaimed the Free Press’ front-page headline the next day. Marlowe Alter, Detroit Free Press, "Detroit Pistons Rewind: Game 7 suffocation of Nets a masterpiece epitomizing 2004 champs," 20 May 2020 The plight of the Roosevelt garnered national headlines after The Chronicle published the desperate letter from former commanding officer Capt. Matthias Gafni, SFChronicle.com, "Despite setbacks, Theodore Roosevelt returns to sea after coronavirus outbreak saga," 20 May 2020 Prince Harry has also been vocal about his frustration towards British tabloids, who have incessantly published insensitive and racist headlines about his wife. Jasmine Grant, Essence, "Meghan Markle And Prince Harry Will Enjoy A Low Key Second Wedding Anniversary," 19 May 2020 Over the years, headlines have teased a resolution looming in the case. Amber Hunt, Cincinnati.com, "Backstory: Pregnant mother Brittany Stykes' cold-blooded killing still unsolved nearly 7 years later," 19 May 2020 Your latest celebrity news and top headlines for May 18, 2020 on PEOPLE Now. People Staff, PEOPLE.com, "People Now: Everything Bachelorette Hannah Brown Said in Apology After Using Racial Slur - Watch the Full Episode," 18 May 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Pete Alonso headlines the batting order, but Michael Conforto is poised for a big year and Wilson Ramos is one of the top catchers in baseball. Cameron Dasilva, USA TODAY Sportsbook Wire, "2020 World Series Futures Betting: 5 teams to bet," 18 Feb. 2020 Since its launch a year and a half ago, Extreme Dogs has headlined halftime shows for the NFL and delighted state fair visitors across the country. René A. Guzman, ExpressNews.com, "Extreme Dogs leap back to the Stock Show & Rodeo," 9 Feb. 2020 Last year, Maroon 5, Big Boy and Travis Scott headlined the show. Danielle Garrand, CBS News, "Shakira and Jennifer Lopez deliver electrifying Super Bowl 2020 halftime show performance," 3 Feb. 2020 Ryan’s Constantine headlined his own (shortlived, normal-er) procedural, before network-skipping to the CW as a gruffly romantic goof. Darren Franich, EW.com, "Is any TV show having more fun than Legends of Tomorrow?: Review," 21 Jan. 2020 The pay-per-view show will still be headlined by Tony Ferguson’s interim lightweight title bout against Justin Gaethje. NBC News, "UFC to hold 3 shows without fans in Florida," 26 Apr. 2020 The event will be headlined by the band American Football and will include performances from Anamanaguchi, HANA and others. New York Times, "Coronavirus in N.Y.C.: Latest Updates," 10 Apr. 2020 This one is headlined by the current President of Estonia, Kersti Kaljulaid, the first woman and the youngest person ever to hold the job. Masha Gessen, The New Yorker, "Why Estonia Was Poised to Handle How a Pandemic Would Change Everything," 24 Mar. 2020 The preliminary card is headlined by a fight between Tim Means and Daniel Rodriguez, as well as fights featuring John Dodson, Jim Miller and others. cleveland, "How to Live Stream UFC Fight Night: Anderson vs. Blachowicz 2 on ESPN+," 15 Feb. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective 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

25 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Headline.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/headline. Accessed 25 May. 2020.

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More Definitions for headline


How to pronounce headline (audio)

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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