overhead

adverb
over·​head | \ ˌō-vər-ˈhed How to pronounce overhead (audio) \

Definition of overhead

 (Entry 1 of 3)

: above one's head : aloft

overhead

adjective
over·​head | \ ˈō-vər-ˌhed How to pronounce overhead (audio) \

Definition of overhead (Entry 2 of 3)

1a : operating, lying, or coming from above
b : having the driving part above the part driven valves operated by an overhead camshaft
2 : of or relating to overhead overhead costs

overhead

noun
over·​head | \ ˈō-vər-ˌhed How to pronounce overhead (audio) \

Definition of overhead (Entry 3 of 3)

1 : business expenses (such as rent, insurance, or heating) not chargeable to a particular part of the work or product
2 : ceiling especially : the ceiling of a ship's compartment
3 : a stroke in a racket game made above head height : smash

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Synonyms & Antonyms for overhead

Synonyms: Adverb

above, aloft, over

Antonyms: Adverb

below, beneath, under

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Examples of overhead in a Sentence

Adverb

A chandelier hung directly overhead. People were making noise in the balcony overhead.

Noun

Her company has very little overhead.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Adverb

From least-expensive to most-expensive, mower engines may be traditional side valve design, overhead valve, or overhead cam. Roy Berendsohn, Popular Mechanics, "The Lawn Mower Buyer's Guide: Everything You Need to Know to Buy the Right Mower," 22 Feb. 2019 With a chandelier overhead tilted in one direction and the Kit Kat Klub sign canted in the other, the ominous set design by Janie E. Howland accentuates a sense of dislocation and a world knocked askew. Don Aucoin, BostonGlobe.com, "Doherty shines brightest in Moonbox’s compelling ‘Cabaret’," 17 Apr. 2018 In regular desktop applications the overhead remained negligible, with games equally showing no meaningful difference in performance. Peter Bright, Ars Technica, "Here’s how, and why, the Spectre and Meltdown patches will hurt performance," 11 Jan. 2018 Authorities promptly arrived at the area and a police helicopter flew overhead. Lukas Mikelionis, Fox News, "Four dead, including child, in suspected triple murder-suicide in New York City," 31 July 2018 Pulling together As the welcoming ceremony began Saturday, a bald eagle flew overhead. Craig Sailor, The Seattle Times, "‘It’s amazing’: Puyallup Tribe hosts more than 100 tribes traveling Salish Sea," 28 July 2018 In the dining foyer, an elephant tusk dining table is surrounded by chairs upholstered in a cheerful ikat by Clarence house, while a Kelly Wearstler chandelier shines overhead. Lucia Tonelli, ELLE Decor, "An Uninspired NYC Apartment Is Revived With Color, Charisma, and Customization," 17 Jan. 2019 The remaining members of our favorite Demogorgon fighting gang appear to be transfixed by fireworks overhead, but Eleven and Will Byers are both looking back, seemingly concerned by what's lurking in the darkness. Lauren Rearick, Teen Vogue, "Netflix Confirmed a Season Three Premiere Date for "Stranger Things"," 1 Jan. 2019 The stories spill out in the sitting rooms of Catholic convents, where portraits of Jesus keep watch and fans spin quietly overhead. Tim Sullivan, The Seattle Times, "AP finds long history of nuns abused by priests in India," 1 Jan. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

From least-expensive to most-expensive, mower engines may be traditional side valve design, overhead valve, or overhead cam. Roy Berendsohn, Popular Mechanics, "The Lawn Mower Buyer's Guide: Everything You Need to Know to Buy the Right Mower," 22 Feb. 2019 The strategy is to give unit leaders more accountability for spending and profits, while reducing the number of employees in overhead functions. Jon Kamp, WSJ, "GE to Scale Back Boston Headquarters, Return $87 Million of Incentives," 14 Feb. 2019 The Last Race puts across the filmmaker’s affectionate impressions of the track, through overhead conversations between foul-mouthed old-timers and dreamy shots of beat-up old automobiles roaring across the weary asphalt. Noel Murray, The Verge, "The 10 best documentaries of 2018," 18 Dec. 2018 Other charity evaluators still use overhead metrics. Kelsey Piper, Vox, "One of the most frequently used criteria for judging a charity is also one of the worst," 27 Nov. 2018 And while every travel method has its moments, planes really up the ante with snaking security lines, the death match to get your overhead luggage into the bin, and interminable delays. Elise Taylor, Vogue, "Thanksgiving Air Travel Is Set to Be Busier Than Ever This Year—Here’s What to Know," 14 Nov. 2018 Skip the overhead lamp at the dinner table in favor of candles—traditional or antique-style candlestick holders work best. Elle Decor Editors, ELLE Decor, "20 Halloween Party Ideas So Sophisticated They’ll Scare You," 18 Oct. 2018 Flames from the overhead highway fell to the lower level, setting the vehicles below on fire and causing a second explosion. Katherine Lam, Fox News, "Bologna highway explosion leaves 2 dead, up to 70 injured, Italian police say," 2 Oct. 2018 Ronaldo also scored twice against Juventus in the first leg of the Champions League quarterfinals last season, including a spectacular overhead goal — which earned him a standing ovation from Juventus fans. Daniella Matar, chicagotribune.com, "Juventus sees Cristiano Ronaldo as key to Champions League dream," 11 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Equipment is in an area with overhead and three walls, next to a walk-in cooler and walk-in freezer outside. David J. Neal, miamiherald, "Rodent poop in a fruit bowl, near soup, on shelves. These restaurants are in deep ...," 7 June 2018 Plain chachalacas squabbled from unseen havens in the underbrush, and brightly plumed green jays scolded us from overhead. James F. Mccarty, cleveland.com, "Eco-tourists enjoy Rio Grande Valley as threat of a border wall threatens habitat," 15 Apr. 2018 The upper-body frames use a system of springs, cables and pulleys to transfer weight from the arms to the outside of the hips, easing the strain of overhead work. Leigh Kamping-carder, WSJ, "Industrial Exoskeletons Give Workers a Lift," 17 Jan. 2019 For Firefox and Edge, YouTube sends a JavaScript implementation of HTML imports which carries significant performance overheads. Peter Bright, Ars Technica, "Google isn’t the company that we should have handed the Web over to," 17 Dec. 2018 The Hills fled before they were told to, knowing danger was afoot when the power went out and helicopters suddenly began flying low overhead. Jonathan J. Cooper And Lorin Eleni Gill, Fox News, "Uncontained wildfire destroys 500 structures in California," 28 July 2018 Minihan captures some tremendously beautiful images throughout the movie, like the early overhead shot of Jackie and Jules in a vividly white little canoe on a stark black lake. Tasha Robinson, The Verge, "What Keeps You Alive shows the importance of art in horror films," 24 Aug. 2018 About one-quarter up from the horizon to the point overhead will be a waxing gibbous moon, illuminated 93 percent by the sun. Joe Rao, Space.com, "The Moon Has a Close Encounter with Saturn on Tuesday Night," 23 July 2018 In a second, no more—not even time to take a breath—water filled the cabin to the overhead. Earl Swift, Outside Online, "The Incredible True Story of the Henrietta C.," 20 June 2018

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

Adverb

15th century, in the meaning defined above

Adjective

1682, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Noun

1907, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Learn More about overhead

Statistics for overhead

Last Updated

11 Mar 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for overhead

The first known use of overhead was in the 15th century

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More Definitions for overhead

overhead

noun

Financial Definition of overhead

What It Is

Overhead refers to the ongoing operating expenses necessary to running a business, but are not attributed to a specific business activity.  Also referred to as "indirect costs."

How It Works

Generally, overhead expenses include expenses that do not directly generate revenues, such as labor and materials, but are needed to maintain the business operations.  Overhead expenses include expenses such as accounting, advertising, depreciation, insurance, interest, legal, rent, repairs, office supplies, taxes, information and communications, utilities, research and development, customer relations and service, and travel.  These overhead expenses are listed on the company's income statement.

Why It Matters

Overhead costs are considered fixed costs, that is, they do not rise or fall directly with the cost of goods sold.   Overhead costs are important to monitor and control.  Since they are not directly related to revenues, they can become a larger share of the total expenses and burden a company, soaking up net income and profits.

Source: Investing Answers

overhead

adverb

English Language Learners Definition of overhead

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: above someone's head : in the sky or space above someone

overhead

noun

English Language Learners Definition of overhead (Entry 2 of 2)

US : costs for rent, heat, electricity, etc., that a business must pay and that are not related to what the business sells

overhead

adverb
over·​head | \ ˌō-vər-ˈhed How to pronounce overhead (audio) \

Kids Definition of overhead

 (Entry 1 of 3)

: above someone's head : in the sky or space above someone A chandelier hung directly overhead.

overhead

adjective
over·​head | \ ˈō-vər-ˌhed How to pronounce overhead (audio) \

Kids Definition of overhead (Entry 2 of 3)

: placed in the space above someone an overhead light

overhead

noun
over·​head | \ ˈō-vər-ˌhed How to pronounce overhead (audio) \

Kids Definition of overhead (Entry 3 of 3)

: the general expenses (as for rent or heat) of a business

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overhead

noun
over·​head | \ ˈō-vər-ˌhed How to pronounce overhead (audio) \

Legal Definition of overhead

: business expenses (as rent or insurance) not chargeable to a particular part of the work or product

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More from Merriam-Webster on overhead

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with overhead

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for overhead

Spanish Central: Translation of overhead

Nglish: Translation of overhead for Spanish Speakers

Comments on overhead

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grandiloquent, ostentatious, or bombastic

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