log·​ger·​head | \ ˈlȯ-gər-ˌhed How to pronounce loggerhead (audio) , 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
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

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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

President Trump and Democrats are at loggerheads over government spending for a barrier on the U.S. border with Mexico. WSJ, "Shutdown Poses Risk to Health Care," 23 Jan. 2019 Trump is at loggerheads with Beijing over trade and has tried to put pressure on China, to be sure. Jen Kirby, Vox, "Mattis’s resignation was a scathing indictment of Trump’s foreign policy," 21 Dec. 2018 The sides have also been at loggerheads for years over ownership of uninhabited East China Sea islands controlled by Japan but claimed by China. Fox News, "The Latest: Taiwan won't be affected by China interference," 20 Mar. 2018 This is hardly the first time that the U.S. and China have been at loggerheads. Richard N. Haass, WSJ, "The Crisis in U.S.-China Relations," 19 Oct. 2018 In the first year of his term, the president was at loggerheads with Europe as well as Japan, Canada, Mexico and other Pacific Rim partners. Thomas J. Duesterberg, WSJ, "The Deal America and China Need," 26 Nov. 2018 Assange and the embassy have been at loggerheads for a while. Alex Ward, Vox, "Julian Assange is fighting the Ecuadorian government over a cat," 19 Oct. 2018 In the arms control sphere, Moscow and Washington also have been at loggerheads over another arms control treaty — the 1987 Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces Treaty. Vladimir Isachenkov, The Seattle Times, "Russia challenges US compliance with nuclear arms treaty," 8 Oct. 2018 For starters, the two sides remained at loggerheads over what to discuss at this week’s talks, a person briefed on the matter said. Bob Davis, WSJ, "U.S. Seizes on Chinese Economic Vulnerability as Trade Talks Start," 23 Aug. 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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Statistics for loggerhead

Last Updated

6 May 2019

Look-up Popularity

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 How to pronounce loggerhead (audio) , ˈlä-\

Kids Definition of loggerhead

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

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Comments on loggerhead

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


using a distributed computer network

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