log·​ger·​head | \ˈlȯ-gər-ˌhed, ˈlä-\

Definition of loggerhead 

1 chiefly dialectal

a : blockhead

b : head especially : a disproportionately large head

2a : a very large chiefly carnivorous sea turtle (Caretta caretta) of subtropical and temperate waters

b : alligator snapping turtle

3 : an iron tool consisting of a long handle terminating in a ball or bulb that is heated and used to melt tar or to heat liquids

at loggerheads

: in or into a state of quarrelsome disagreement

Illustration of loggerhead

Illustration of loggerhead

loggerhead 2a

Examples of loggerhead in a Sentence

that loggerhead couldn't find the business end of a cow even if his life depended on it

Recent Examples on the Web

The country, at loggerheads with the West over allegations of election interference and the crises in Ukraine and Syria, accuses the United States and Europe of Russophobia. Amie Ferris-rotman, Washington Post, "For the World Cup, the Russian people are all in, win or lose," 25 June 2018 Not since the former commissioner Raymond W. Kelly was at loggerheads with the oversight board over stop-and-frisk tactics have the police departed so often from the board’s proposed penalties. New York Times, "Police, at Odds with Oversight Board, Reject More of Its Penalties," 12 Apr. 2018 Also at stake is one of the continent’s fastest-growing economies, as well as ties with the EU, which is already at loggerheads with Poland and Hungary over democratic norms. Andra Timu, Bloomberg.com, "Daring Protesters, Romania Picks Tainted Officials for Cabinet," 26 Jan. 2018 Sorrell's former employer, the advertising giant WPP, was also looking to acquire the company, and Sky News reports that Sorrell and WPP are at loggerheads over the purchase. Claire Atkinson, NBC News, "Martin Sorrell's plan to build a digital ad business has officially begun," 10 July 2018 In theory, China remains at loggerheads with its Asian neighbours over contested rocks in the South China Sea. The Economist, "Xi’s world order: July 2024," 7 July 2018 North Carolina's famous loggerhead sea turtles are notorious for their sneaky approach to nesting, coming ashore after sunset and laying eggs under cover of darkness. Mark Price, charlotteobserver, "Tourists warned sea turtles may nest in broad daylight — that's rare at Cape Hatteras," 5 July 2018 Hungary is increasingly at loggerheads with several European countries and Brussels. Wesley E. Wright, Houston Chronicle, "Elder Law: Do you have to ‘spend down’ for Medicaid requirements?," 15 June 2018 Murphy, who took office in January, is at loggerheads with fellow Democrats who control the legislature over his plan to raise taxes on millionaires, retail sales, online-room booking, ride-sharing, marijuana, e-cigarettes and Internet transactions. Terrence Dopp, Bloomberg.com, "New Jersey Lawmakers Pushing Own Budget Plan Amid Murphy Impasse," 15 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'loggerhead.' 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 loggerhead

1588, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for loggerhead

probably from English dialect logger block of wood + English head

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Last Updated

23 Sep 2018

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Time Traveler for loggerhead

The first known use of loggerhead was in 1588

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More Definitions for loggerhead


log·​ger·​head | \ˈlȯ-gər-ˌhed, ˈlä-\

Kids Definition of loggerhead

: a very large sea turtle found in the warmer parts of the Atlantic Ocean

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something that serves to warn or remind

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