noun \ˈhed\

Definition of head

  1. 1 :  the upper or anterior division of the animal body that contains the brain, the chief sense organs, and the mouth

  2. 2 a :  the seat of the intellect :  mind <two heads are better than one> b :  a person with respect to mental qualities <let wiser heads prevail> c :  natural aptitude or talent <a good head for figures> d :  mental or emotional control :  poise <a level head> e :  headache

  3. 3 :  the obverse of a coin —usually used in plural

  4. 4 a :  person, individual <count heads> b plural head :  one of a number (as of domestic animals)

  5. 5 a :  the end that is upper or higher or opposite the foot <the head of the table> <head of a sail> b :  the source of a stream c :  either end of something (as a drum) whose two ends need not be distinguished

  6. 6 :  director, leader: as a :  headmaster b :  one in charge of a division or department in an office or institution

  7. 7 a :  capitulum 2 b :  the foliaged part of a plant especially when consisting of a compact mass of leaves or close fructification <a head of lettuce>

  8. 8 a :  the leading element of a military column or a procession b :  headway

  9. 9 a :  the uppermost extremity or projecting part of an object :  top b :  the striking part of a weapon, tool, or implement c :  the rounded proximal end of a long bone (as the humerus) d :  the end of a muscle nearest the origin e :  the oval part of a printed musical note

  10. 10 a :  a body of water kept in reserve at a height; also :  the containing bank, dam, or wall b :  a mass of water in motion

  11. 11 a :  the difference in elevation between two points in a body of fluid b :  the resulting pressure of the fluid at the lower point expressible as this height; broadly :  pressure of a fluid

  12. 12 a :  the bow and adjacent parts of a ship b :  a ship's toilet; broadly :  toilet 3

  13. 13 :  the approximate length of the head of a horse <won by a head>

  14. 14 :  the place of leadership, honor, or command <at the head of her class>

  15. 15 a (1) :  a word or series of words often in larger letters placed at the beginning of a passage or at the top of a page in order to introduce or categorize (2) :  a separate part or topic b :  a portion of a page or sheet that is above the first line of printing

  16. 16 :  the foam or scum that rises on a fermenting or effervescing liquid (as beer)

  17. 17 a :  the part of a boil, pimple, or abscess at which it is likely to break b :  culminating point of action :  crisis <events came to a head>

  18. 18 a :  a part or attachment of a machine or machine tool containing a device (as a cutter or drill); also :  the part of an apparatus that performs the chief function or a particular function b :  an electromagnet used as a transducer in magnetic recording for recording on, reading, or erasing a magnetic medium (as tape or a disk)

  19. 19 :  an immediate constituent of a construction that can have the same grammatical function as the whole (as man in “an old man”, “a very old man”, or “the man in the street”)

  20. 20 a :  one who uses a drug —often used in combination <pothead> b :  a devoted enthusiast :  aficionado —often used in combination <computerhead>

  21. 21 often vulgar :  fellatio, cunnilingus —usually used with give

by the head

  1. :  drawing the greater depth of water forward

off one's head

out of one's head

over one's head

  1. 1 :  beyond one's comprehension or competence <the most awful intellectual detail, all of it over my head — E. B. White>

  2. 2 :  so as to pass over one's superior standing or authority <went over my head to complain>

Examples of head in a sentence

  1. She patted the dog on the head.

  2. He nodded his head in agreement.

  3. The ceiling's low—watch your head!

Origin and Etymology of head

Middle English hed, from Old English hēafod; akin to Old High German houbit head, Latin caput

First Known Use: before 12th century




Definition of head

  1. 1 :  of, relating to, or intended for the head

  2. 2 :  principal, chief <head cook>

  3. 3 :  situated at the head

  4. 4 :  coming from in front <head sea>

Examples of head in a sentence

  1. <as head editor at the TV station for 17 years, he has hired and fired innumerable staff members>

Before 12th Century

First Known Use of head

before 12th century




Definition of head

  1. transitive verb
  2. 1 :  behead

  3. 2 a :  to put a head on :  fit a head to <head an arrow> b :  to form the head or top of <tower headed by a spire>

  4. 3 :  to act as leader or head to <head a revolt>

  5. 4 a :  to get in front of so as to hinder, stop, or turn back b :  to take a lead over (as a racehorse) :  surpass c :  to pass (a stream) by going round above the source

  6. 5 a :  to put something at the head of (as a list) b :  to stand as the first or leading member of <heads the list of heroes>

  7. 6 :  to set the course of <head a ship northward>

  8. 7 :  to drive (as a soccer ball) with the head

  9. intransitive verb
  10. 1 :  to form a head <this cabbage heads early>

  11. 2 :  to point or proceed in a certain direction <headed south>

  12. 3 :  to have a source :  originate

Examples of head in a sentence

  1. The group was headed by the church pastor.

  2. He was accused of heading the revolt.

  3. I hopped in the car and headed down the street.

  4. After lunch, we headed back to the office.

  5. She headed out early this morning.

  6. The birds have already started heading south for the winter.

  7. The forward headed the ball into the goal.

14th Century

First Known Use of head

14th century

HEAD Defined for English Language Learners



noun \ˈhed\

Definition of head for English Language Learners

  • : the part of the body containing the brain, eyes, ears, nose, and mouth

  • : a person's mental ability : mind or intellect

  • : a person who has a specified mental or emotional quality




Definition of head for English Language Learners

  • : to be the leader of (something)

  • : to be first on (a list)

  • : to go in a specified direction or toward a specified place

HEAD Defined for Kids



noun \ˈhed\

Definition of head for Students

  1. 1 :  the part of the body containing the brain, eyes, ears, nose, and mouth

  2. 2 :  1mind 1 <Mom has a good head for figures.>

  3. 3 :  control of the mind or feelings <He kept his head during the emergency.>

  4. 4 :  the side of a coin or medal usually thought of as the front

  5. 5 :  director 1, leader <She's the head of the school department.>

  6. 6 :  each person among a number <Count heads to make sure everyone is here.>

  7. 7 plural head :  a unit of number <They own 100 head of cattle.>

  8. 8 :  something like a head in position or use <the head of a bed>

  9. 9 :  the place where a stream begins

  10. 10 :  a tight mass of plant parts (as leaves or flowers) <a head of cabbage>

  11. 11 :  a part of a machine, tool, or weapon that performs the main work <head of a spear> <shower head>

  12. 12 :  a place of leadership or honor <He is at the head of his class.>

  13. 13 :  climax, crisis <Events came to a head.>

over someone's head

  1. :  beyond someone's understanding <Their discussion was way over my head.>




Definition of head for Students

  1. 1 :  2chief 1 <He's the head coach.>

  2. 2 :  located at the front <We sat at the head table.>

  3. 3 :  coming from in front <We sailed into a head wind.>




Definition of head for Students



  1. 1 :  to be the leader of <She headed the investigation.>

  2. 2 :  to go or cause to go in a certain direction <Let's head for home.>

  3. 3 :  to be first or get in front of <He heads the list of candidates.>

  4. 4 :  to provide with or form a head <This cabbage heads early.>

Medical Dictionary


noun \ˈhed\

Medical Definition of head

  1. 1:  the division of the human body that contains the brain, the eyes, the ears, the nose, and the mouth; also :  the corresponding anterior division of the body of various animals including all vertebrates, most arthropods, and many mollusks and worms

  2. 2:  headache

  3. 3:  a projection or extremity especially of an anatomical part: asa:  the rounded proximal end of a long bone (as the humerus)b:  the end of a muscle nearest the originc:  the anterior end of an invertebrate :  scolex

  4. 4:  the part of a boil, pimple, or abscess at which it is likely to break

  5. 5:  the end of a lipid molecule that consists of a polar group and is regarded as being opposite to the tail



Law Dictionary



Legal Definition of head

  1. :  any of a number of individuals

by heads

  1. :  per capita —used in the rules of intestate succession in Louisiana

Seen and Heard

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


of, relating to, or resembling a fox

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