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

The shade structure that wrapped around the auditorium and the fans whirring overhead at full blast kept us all cool for a night of lukewarm bops. Ashley Naftule, azcentral, "Train took a victory lap in hit-filled Phoenix show but Goo Goo Dolls brought better songs," 13 June 2019 Helicopters thump overhead and lights from the heavy police detail outside TD Garden bathe Canal Street in blue, like a TV screen seen through a window. Charlotte Wilder, SI.com, "Bruins' Stanley Cup Loss A Sobering Experience for Boston Fans," 13 June 2019 Next, the team searches for those spectra from, on average, several thousand feet overhead. Paul Tullis, New York Times, "To Map a Coral Reef, Peel Back the Seawater," 10 June 2019 Jarman’s restaurant, in one corner, is the club’s most elegant dining space, accented by lampshades created from Hermès scarves and palm-frond fans spinning languidly overhead. Abigail Stone, latimes.com, "h Club is the new club rising above in L.A.," 10 June 2019 Rogers was a flyman, managing pieces of equipment that move overhead. Leah Garchik, SFChronicle.com, "The pain of loving an easy-to-love opera: Get over it," 9 June 2019 Federer and Wawrinka were locked in a taut fourth set when the clouds overhead grew thick and charcoal-colored. Howard Fendrich, chicagotribune.com, "Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal are set for another matchup at the French Open," 4 June 2019 Eyewitnesses reported seeing planes hovering overhead as buildings burned from the top down on the streets below. Teen Vogue, "Black Wall Street and the Tulsa Race Massacre of 1921, Explained," 31 May 2019 The room was filled with ribbons that dangled overhead; on the tables, ruby red clothes and lilac arrangements created a jewel tone color harmony. Lilah Ramzi, Vogue, "The American Ballet Theatre Hosts Its Spring Gala Celebrating Choreographer Extraordinaire Alexei Ratmansky," 21 May 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

Someone entered a garage in the 1000 block of Highland Avenue and opened the overhead door between 5:30 p.m. June 7 and 8:04 p.m. June 8. Pioneer Press Staff, chicagotribune.com, "Oak Park police: Man steals package out of USPS mail truck," 14 June 2019 Kirsten Schaffer, the executive director of Women in Film, said that women currently get only 16% of the overhead deals and 23% of the overall deals in television. Washington Post, "Amy Poehler, Issa Rae recognized for their entrepreneurship," 13 June 2019 The marchers were well-organized and coordinated, dropping umbrellas from an overhead walkway to provide protection from police and the rain for those in streets below. Bloomberg News, The Mercury News, "Tear gas envelops Hong Kong as protesters flood the streets," 12 June 2019 But, prior to the summer of 2018, TriMet crews made improvements to the overhead wire system and track areas along the MAX Blue and Red lines to allow trains to run at normal speeds in temperatures up to 100 degrees. oregonlive.com, "Portland metro Tuesday traffic: Fremont Bridge decks close for overnight inspections," 11 June 2019 Goblet squat to overhead press Stand with feet slightly wider than hip-width apart, hands at shoulder height, elbows bent, and a kettlebell in hands. Rozalynn S. Frazier, Health.com, "Hit All Your Major Muscles With This 6-Move Kettlebell Workout," 10 June 2019 Keep all ladders, lifts, pool skimmers and other objects at least 20 feet away from your service drop and other overhead power lines and electrical equipment. Micah Walker, Detroit Free Press, "Man fatally electrocuted while cutting trees in Southfield," 9 June 2019 No structural damage to the tunnel or overhead wire had been reported, Pesaturo said. John Hilliard, BostonGlobe.com, "At least 10 people injured in Green Line derailment near Kenmore," 8 June 2019 Red and green lights show passengers where to find overhead bin space. Scott Mccartney, WSJ, "The Next Frontier in the Privacy Debate: Your Flight," 15 May 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Both are powered by a naturally-aspirated 2.5-liter dual-overhead-cam four (186 hp and 186 lb-ft or torque). WSJ, "Is the Mazda3 Hatchback The Best Car of 2019?," 14 June 2019 Since the renovations, security guards, for the most part, are hidden behind frosted glass or tucked away on overhead walkways. Washington Post, "Israel’s high-tech facelift takes the sting out of checkpoints — but not out of the occupation," 12 June 2019 The Fire Bosses roar overhead every four minutes, dropping water. Mark Jenkins, National Geographic, "When wildfires break out, this elite team of ‘smokejumpers’ parachute in," 12 June 2019 Keeping abs tight, press weight overhead until arm is straight. Rozalynn S. Frazier, Health.com, "This 30-Day Arms Challenge Will Transform Your Upper Body In Just 4 Weeks," 10 June 2019 Rolling in the sky overhead are winged infants, or putti, who cavort amid splashy clouds of color that seem more liquid than smoky. Steven Litt, cleveland.com, "Cleveland Museum of Art ignites burning river anniversary with incendiary art of Cai Guo-Qiang," 9 June 2019 Suddenly, the moans and screams were drowned out by a new sound overhead. Gaia Vince, Quartz, "How to survive in the world’s largest refugee camp," 8 June 2019 Arianespace has also finished adaptations to the existing Vega launch complex in French Guiana, including mobile gantry cantilever reinforcements, platform shutters, and a new overhead traveling crane that will enable Vega-C missions. Eric Berger, Ars Technica, "Rocket Report: A Yellow Sea launch, SpaceX’s upcoming high-value mission," 7 June 2019 That’s a small return on A$2 billion, before considering overheads and depreciation. John Quiggin, Quartz India, "Why is this Indian billionaire splurging on an Australian mine guaranteed to lose money?," 6 June 2019

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

17 Jun 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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