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 controversial disqualification attracted widespread condemnation, and captured local and national headlines this week. Tegan Hanlon, Anchorage Daily News, "Anchorage schools superintendent says referee’s decision to disqualify swimmer was ‘discriminatory’," 12 Sep. 2019 This WeWork IPO and headline valuation is a classic example of the devil being in the details because their anchor investors have prefs. Polina Marinova, Fortune, "Is the ‘Code Red’ Recession Indicator Simply a False Alarm?: Term Sheet," 10 Sep. 2019 The previous Boynton Beach restaurant made headlines when Belinda and her ex-husband, Jerome Juan Johnson, were arrested in 2012 and implicated in a drug ring. Michael Mayo, sun-sentinel.com, "A barbecue revival at new Tom’s Place: ‘To honor my parents and keep their legacy alive’," 9 Sep. 2019 Expect plenty of it Saturday night at the Del Mar Fairgrounds when the Dave Matthews Band headlines Day Two of the three-day KAABOO Del Mar festival that kicks off Friday. David L. Coddon, San Diego Union-Tribune, "Arts & Culture Newsletter: Dave Matthews Band and KAABOO stir up memories of Street Scene," 9 Sep. 2019 Instagram comments flooded with support, headlines praised the unexpected look, and Holmes’s $520 Khaite bra sold out (along with its coordinating $1540 sweater). Glamour, "Katie Holmes Is a Whole Fall Fashion Mood," 9 Sep. 2019 The Broncos’ third Lombardi Trophy has been followed by mediocrity (9-7 in 2016), irrelevance (5-11 and 6-10 in 2017-18), coaching and quarterback turnover and headlines about stadium naming rights and Bowlen family squabbles. Ryan O’halloran, The Denver Post, "State of the Broncos: Expectations low, but confidence high entering regular season," 8 Sep. 2019 Still, with headlines seemingly outpacing the set-up for this 2014 play, the best reason to hitch a ride with this pair might be the chance to see artistically maturing actor GerRee Hinshaw as Beatriz to Adriane Leigh Robinson’s Olivia. Lisa Kennedy, The Know, "From Steve Martin’s “Bright Star” to Cheryl Strayed’s “Tiny Beautiful Things,” 10 must-see fall plays in Colorado," 8 Sep. 2019 Catastrophic fires in the Amazon rainforest made global headlines, but since then NASA has noted that right now there are actually many more fires in parts of Africa than in Brazil. Colin Beale, Quartz Africa, "Scientists say comparing the Amazon rainforest fires to burning grasslands in Africa is misleading," 31 Aug. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

The fights came on the undercard of a show headlined by the comeback of Austin super welterweight James Kirkland, 36, who was fighting for the first time in more than four years. John Whisler, ExpressNews.com, "Ortiz, Whitaker win bouts on Austin card," 29 Aug. 2019 The Bulldogs’ offense is led by senior quarterback J’Mar Smith and has amassed impressive depth at the skill positions, headlined by star wideout Adrian Hardy. Max Meyer, SI.com, "College Football Week 1 Best Bets: Fade Ranked Pac-12 Teams, Back Giant Louisiana Underdogs," 27 Aug. 2019 On the 7th, the Indiana 250 race will be run, and the FGL Fest will showcase music headlined by Grammy Award nominee Florida Georgia Line. Phil Marty, chicagotribune.com, "Fall fun on the farm in Wisconsin, racing in Indy and more Midwest events," 23 Aug. 2019 It’s Silicon Valley Pride week, and there has been plenty of celebrating going on already even before this weekend’s parade honoring the Golden State Warriors as grand marshals and a daylong festival headlined by R&B singer Macy Gray. Sal Pizarro, The Mercury News, "Golden State Warriors, Macy Gray to lead Silicon Valley Pride events," 22 Aug. 2019 An influx of exciting young talent, headlined by striker Rafael Leão and Real Madrid defender Theo Hernandez, provides an ideal template for Giampaolo to work with. Matias Grez, CNN, "Can anyone stop Juventus' march to a ninth successive title?," 22 Aug. 2019 Their solution was a day-long concert headlined by Peter Frampton and Santana, with tickets selling for just $3.50. Richard Ruelas, AZCentral.com, "Misfiled in the Don Bolles files: Filming 1976's 'A Star Is Born' at Sun Devil Stadium," 12 Aug. 2019 Mobile shopping app Ibotta announced this week that it is now valued at $1 billion following the close of a recent nine-figure funding round headlined by Koch Disruptive Technologies, a subsidiary of Koch Industries. Joe Rubino, The Denver Post, "Mobile shopping app Ibotta becomes Denver’s only billion-dollar “unicorn” company," 8 Aug. 2019 On Tuesday night, thousands of metalheads converged on the Pepsi Center in Denver for the Knotfest Roadshow, a mini metal fest headlined by the band Slipknot. The Know Staff, The Know, "PHOTOS: Metalheads take over the Pepsi Center for Slipknot’s Knotfest Roadshow," 7 Aug. 2019

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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Statistics for headline

Last Updated

15 Sep 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

What made you want to look up headline? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to spread over or through

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