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

There are also silhouettes of fans, an image of the arena itself, and a 747 jetliner flying overhead — a nod to SAP Center’s location in the SJC flight path. Sal Pizarro, The Mercury News, "Look who’s featured in this new mural celebrating SAP Center," 31 Aug. 2019 Inside the convention hall, red-and-white searchlights dance overhead, making the ceiling look as if Poké balls, which players use in the game to catch the various characters, are bouncing on the ceiling. cleveland.com, "People are still obsessed with Pokémon and this is their Super Bowl," 20 Aug. 2019 Although Boss usually tilts his head up at the sound of planes overhead, Naeve said the 10-year-old greyhound was too tired to look up now. Alyssa Lukpat, BostonGlobe.com, "British Red Arrow fighter jets soar over Boston," 19 Aug. 2019 The wind blew in my ears and the sun shone overhead. Rachel Metz, CNN, "A new Westworld game actually delivers on virtual reality's promise," 19 Aug. 2019 Inside the convention hall, red-and-white searchlights dance overhead, making the ceiling look as if Poké balls, which players use in the game to catch the various characters, are bouncing on the ceiling. Washington Post, "Yes, people are still obsessed with Pokémon — and this is their Super Bowl," 19 Aug. 2019 The earth’s surface is warming unevenly, which influences where areas of high and low pressure are situated in the atmosphere overhead. Annie Sneed, Scientific American, "The Reason Antarctica Is Melting: Shifting Winds, Driven by Global Warming," 16 Aug. 2019 Putting in such lines typically costs between $2 million and $3 million a mile, experts say, at least three times as much as running wires overhead. Kurtis Alexander, SFChronicle.com, "‘Radical’ tree trimming: Critics say PG&E’s rush to stop fires may hurt California forests," 15 Aug. 2019 Ceiling fans whirred overhead, stirring up dust and flapping the pages of the newspaper. Beth Thames | Bethmthames@gmail.com, al, "Ode to the air conditioner," 14 Aug. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

Often, with just a structured tote bag in tow, the business traveller is afforded an excess of space in the overhead bin above her. Catherine Mevs, The New Yorker, "Business Travellers Know," 3 Aug. 2019 United As of July 9, the airline began allowing pets in cargo again, after a brief two-month pause following a handful of unfortunate pet incidents (a few cases of pets being loaded onto the wrong flights, and one pet death in an overhead bin). Marie Salcido, Sunset, "Airlines Are Changing Their Pet Policies," 22 Jan. 2018 From the outside, ATMosfera tram cars look just like the ones traversing Milan all day long: bounded by rails on the ground and overhead wires, the trolley-like machines are popular modes of transportation used by locals. Anna Ben Yehuda Rahmanan, Fortune, "Ride and Eat in the First Rolling Restaurant in Italy," 10 Aug. 2019 All golf balls contain microchips that trace the flight path of the ball and can instantly show performance data on overhead TVs. Carina Julig, The Denver Post, "Topgolf to open second Denver-area high-tech driving range," 8 Aug. 2019 The film opens with a 15-minute-long uncut overhead shot of Affleck and newcomer Anna Pniowsky facing each other in their sleeping bags. Owen Gleiberman, chicagotribune.com, "‘Light of My Life’ review: Casey Affleck directs father, daughter on a rudderless journey through dystopian times," 7 Aug. 2019 Engineers have installed new anchor bolts in train tunnel ceilings, for an overhead system to power electric train cars. Rachel Swan, SFChronicle.com, "Caltrain maps out big growth and how to pay the $25 billion tab," 22 July 2019 With a camera boat settling in for a while to document the governor’s angling success, a drone was taking overhead video and photos. D'arcy Egan, cleveland.com, "Walleye and a surprise catch highlight Gov. Mike DeWine’s Lake Erie fishing trip," 3 July 2019 Cave debris would have come from directly overhead with an angular strike, rather than rounded. Ashley Strickland, CNN, "Paleolithic cold case file: Was this man murdered 33,000 years ago?," 3 July 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

That meant eliminating the huge windshield that gave riders on the current model an unobstructed view of the track ahead (the driver sat in a small cabin overhead, using cameras to monitor his surroundings). Wired, "Imagine the Views From This Italian-Designed Swiss Train," 8 Sep. 2019 Within 15 minutes of each one’s end, the sky overhead was blue. Dina Mishev, Washington Post, "Cheyenne," 10 July 2019 While there is no requirement for how much of a nonprofit's proceeds must go to charity, watchdog groups recommend no more than 25% of a charity's expenses go to overhead. Mary Jo Pitzl, Arizona Republic, "Charity says it helps foster kids. Records show most of the money goes to salaries, overhead," 20 June 2019 Amy, who Michalove named after a neighbor who beat cancer, is being tracked by pings, which occur when her dorsal fin breaks the surface of the water, allowing her tag to transmit a signal to a satellite overhead. Meghan Overdeep, Southern Living, "“Friendly” Great White Shark Returns to the Outer Banks," 27 Apr. 2018 Sheriff's deputies in a helicopter overhead guided the officers to Clark. Nashelly Chavez, Tony Bizjak And Ed Fletcher, sacbee, "Deputy likely didn't know his car hit Stephon Clark activist during protest, sheriff says | The Sacramento Bee," 2 Apr. 2018 Rather than getting your facial treatment in a private spa room with New Age music, Skin Camp’s 15- to 45-minute treatments are delivered in the middle of a salon, served up with gossip and the sound of Kanye West and Shaggy floating overhead. Melinda Fulmer, Los Angeles Times, "Skin Camp: Where your face goes to get rejuvenated over summer vacation," 23 Aug. 2019 The agreement means Metroparks will reimburse the county for wages for the project manager and inspector, as well as overhead expenses, according to Nichole English, head of planning and programming for Public Works. Courtney Astolfi, cleveland.com, "Cleveland Metroparks to pay Cuyahoga County to manage federal compliance of Red Line Greenway, Wendy Park bridge, Whiskey Island trail," 19 Aug. 2019 Barcelona stuttered to a shock defeat in their opening La Liga clash of the season, going down 1-0 to Athletic Club after a fabulous late overhead kick from veteran striker Aritz Aduriz. SI.com, "Athletic 1-0 Barcelona: Suarez Injury Update, Griezmann's Debut & Valverde's Reaction to Shock Loss," 17 Aug. 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

12 Sep 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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readily or continually undergoing change

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