from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun A loggerhead turtle.
  • noun An iron tool consisting of a long handle with a bulbous end, used when heated to melt tar or warm liquids.
  • noun Nautical A post on a whaleboat used to secure the harpoon rope.
  • noun Informal A blockhead; a dolt.
  • idiom (at loggerheads) Engaged in a dispute.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun A blockhead; a dunce; a dolt; a thickskull.
  • noun A spherical mass of iron with a long handle, used after being heated for various purposes, as to liquefy tar, to ignite the priming of a cannon, etc. Also called loggerheat.
  • noun A post in the stern of a whale-boat, with a bell-shaped head, around which the harpoon-line passes; a snubbing-post.
  • noun The hawk-billed turtle, a marine species of the genus Thalassochelys, as the American loggerhead, T. caouana or caretta, or the Indian, T. olivacea; also, the alligator-turtle of the southern United States, Macrochelys lacertina.
  • noun The small gray or Carolinian shrike, Lanius ludovicianus, a bird of the family Laniidæ, resident and abundant in the southern parts of the United States, and sometimes as far north as New England.
  • noun A flycatcher.
  • noun The chub.
  • noun A kind of sponge found in Florida.
  • noun plural The knapweed, Centaurea nigra; also, the blue-bottle, C. Cyanus.
  • noun In the southern United States, the common snapping-turtle, Chelydra serpentina.
  • noun Specifically— in the British West Indies, a name applied to two large tyrant flycatchers, Pitangus caudifas-ciatus, and Myiarchus crinitus.
  • noun The steamer-duck, Tachyeres cinereus, a flightless water-fowl of the Falkland Islands and Straits of Magellan.
  • noun A lever or walking-beam which connects the piston-rod of an engine to the pump-plunger.
  • noun A pewter inkstand, circular and very heavy.
  • noun A large, heavy head, out of proportion to the body.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun A blockhead; a dunce; a numskull.
  • noun A spherical mass of iron, with a long handle, used to heat tar.
  • noun (Naut.) An upright piece of round timber, in a whaleboat, over which a turn of the line is taken when it is running out too fast.
  • noun (Zoöl.) A very large marine turtle (Thalassochelys caretta syn. Thalassochelys caouana), common in the warmer parts of the Atlantic Ocean, from Brazil to Cape Cod; -- called also logger-headed turtle.
  • noun (Zoöl.) An American shrike (Lanius Ludovicianus), similar to the butcher bird, but smaller. See Shrike.
  • noun to quarrel; to be at strife.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun a tool consisting of a rod with a bulbous end, used once made hot in a fire for the purpose of heating liquids that it is plunged into.
  • noun nautical A post on a whaling boat used to secure the harpoon rope
  • noun the loggerhead turtle
  • noun the loggerhead shrike
  • noun informal A dolt or blockhead

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • noun very large carnivorous sea turtle; wide-ranging in warm open seas
  • noun a stupid person; these words are used to express a low opinion of someone's intelligence


from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[Probably dialectal logger, wooden block (probably from log) + head.]


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  • I've heard this word before, but not with this definition:

    "They had been sparring, in a spirit of fun, with loggerheads, those massy iron balls with long handles to be carried red-hot from the fire and plunged into buckets of tar or pitch so that the substance might be melted with no risk of flame."

    --P. O'Brian, The Commodore, 12

    Which seems like it's the source for the term "at loggerheads." I wonder if it's on reesetee's Three Sheets to the Wind list... Edit: yes.

    March 16, 2008

  • Thanks for checking! I wondered too.

    March 17, 2008

  • A name for a form of pewter inkstand.

    December 31, 2011