Definitions

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

  • n. The uppermost or forwardmost part of the body of a vertebrate, containing the brain and the eyes, ears, nose, mouth, and jaws.
  • n. The analogous part of an invertebrate organism.
  • n. The length or height of such a part: The horse lost by a head. She is two heads taller than he is.
  • n. The seat of the faculty of reason; intelligence, intellect, or mind: I did the figuring in my head.
  • n. Mental ability or aptitude: She has a good head for mathematics.
  • n. Freedom of choice or action: Give the child his head and see how well he solves the problems.
  • n. Slang A habitual drug user. Often used in combination: a dopehead.
  • n. Slang An enthusiast. Often used in combination: a chilihead.
  • n. A person considered foolish or contemptible. Often used in combination: a chowderhead.
  • n. A portrait or representation of a person's head.
  • n. The side of a coin having the principal design, often of the head of a famous person, and the date. Often used in the plural with a singular verb.
  • n. Informal A headache: had a bad head early this morning.
  • n. An individual; a person: charged five dollars a head.
  • n. A single animal: 20 head of cattle.
  • n. A person who leads, rules, or is in charge; a leader, chief, or director: the head of the corporation.
  • n. A headmaster or headmistress.
  • n. The foremost or leading position: marched at the head of the parade.
  • n. A headwaiter.
  • n. The difference in depth of a liquid at two given points.
  • n. The measure of pressure at the lower point expressed in terms of this difference.
  • n. The pressure exerted by a liquid or gas: a head of steam.
  • n. The liquid or gas exerting the pressure.
  • n. The froth or foam that rises to the top in pouring an effervescent liquid, such as beer.
  • n. The tip of an abscess, boil, or pimple, in which pus forms.
  • n. A turning point; a crisis: bring matters to a head. See Synonyms at crisis.
  • n. A projection, weight, or fixture at the end of an elongated object: the head of a pin; a head of land overlooking the harbor.
  • n. The working end of a tool or implement: the head of a hammer.
  • n. The part of an explosive device that carries the explosive; a warhead.
  • n. The part of a stringed instrument where the strings are wound; a tuning head.
  • n. A tuning machine.
  • n. Anatomy The rounded proximal end of a long bone: the head of the femur.
  • n. Anatomy The end of a muscle that is attached to the less movable part of the skeleton.
  • n. An attachment to or part of a machine that holds or contains the operative device.
  • n. The magnetic head of a tape recorder or VCR.
  • n. The device in a magnetic disk or tape drive that enables it to read data from and write data to the disk or tape.
  • n. A rounded compact mass, as of leaves or buds: a head of cabbage.
  • n. Botany A flower head.
  • n. The uppermost part; the top: Place the appropriate name at the head of each column.
  • n. The end considered the most important: sat at the head of the table.
  • n. Either end of an object, such as a drum, whose two ends are interchangeable.
  • n. Nautical The forward part of a vessel.
  • n. Nautical The top part or upper edge of a sail.
  • n. A toilet, especially on a ship.
  • n. A passage or gallery in a coal mine.
  • n. Printing The top of a book or page.
  • n. Printing A headline or heading.
  • n. Printing A distinct topic or category: under the head of recent Spanish history.
  • n. Headway; progress.
  • n. Linguistics The word in a construction that has the same grammatical function as the construction as a whole and that determines relationships of concord to other parts of the construction or sentence in which the construction occurs.
  • n. Vulgar Slang Oral sex.
  • adj. Of, relating to, or intended for the head. Often used in combination: headshaking; headwrap.
  • adj. Foremost in rank or importance: the head librarian.
  • adj. Placed at the top or the front: the head name on the list.
  • adj. Slang Of, relating to, or for drugs or drug users.
  • transitive v. To be in charge of; lead: The minister headed the committee.
  • transitive v. To be in the first or foremost position of: Collins heads the list of job candidates.
  • transitive v. To aim, point, or turn in a certain direction: headed the team of horses up the hill.
  • transitive v. To remove the head or top of.
  • transitive v. Sports To hit (a soccer ball) in the air with one's head.
  • transitive v. To provide with a head: head each column with a number; headed the flagpole with a golden ball.
  • intransitive v. To proceed or go in a certain direction: head for town.
  • intransitive v. To form a head, as lettuce or cabbage.
  • intransitive v. To originate, as a stream or river; rise.
  • head off To block the progress or completion of; intercept: Try to head him off before he gets home. The town headed off the attempt to build another mall.
  • idiom have a big To be overly self-confident or conceited.
  • idiom head and shoulders above Far superior to: head and shoulders above her colleagues in analytical capability.
  • idiom head over heels Rolling, as in a somersault: tripped and fell head over heels.
  • idiom head over heels Completely; hopelessly: head over heels in love.
  • idiom keep (one's) head To remain calm; remain in control of oneself.
  • idiom lose (one's) head To lose one's poise or self-control.
  • idiom off Insane; crazy.
  • idiom on (one's) head As one's responsibility or fault: If this project fails, it's on your head.
  • idiom over (one's) head Beyond one's comprehension.
  • idiom over (one's) head Beyond one's financial means.
  • idiom put heads together To consult and plan together: Let's put our heads together and solve this problem.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. The part of the body of an animal or human which contains the brain, mouth, and main sense organs.
  • n. Mental or emotional aptitude or skill.
  • n. Mind; one's own thoughts.
  • n. The topmost, foremost, or leading part.
  • n. The end of a rectangular table furthest from the entrance; traditionally considered a seat of honor.
  • n. The end of a pool table opposite the end where the balls have been racked.
  • n. The principal operative part of a simple machine or tool.
  • n. The source of a river; the end of a lake where a river flows into it.
  • n. this sense?) The front, as of a queue.
  • n. Headway; progress.
  • n. The foam that forms on top of beer or other carbonated beverages.
  • n. Leader; chief; mastermind.
  • n. A headmaster or headmistress.
  • n. A headache; especially one resulting from intoxication.
  • n. A clump of leaves or flowers; a capitulum.
  • n. The rounded part of a bone fitting into a depression in another bone to form a ball-and-socket joint.
  • n. An individual person.
  • n. A single animal.
  • n. The population of game.
  • n. Topic; subject.
  • n. A morpheme that determines the category of a compound or the word that determines the syntactic type of the phrase of which it is a member.
  • n. The principal melody or theme of a piece.
  • n. Deposits near the top of a geological succession.
  • n. The end of an abscess where pus collects.
  • n. denouement; crisis
  • n. A machine element which reads or writes electromagnetic signals to or from a storage medium.
  • n. The headstock of a guitar.
  • n. A drum head, the membrane which is hit to produce sound.
  • n. The end cap of a cylindrically-shaped pressure vessel.
  • n. The cylinder head, a platform above the cylinders in an internal combustion engine, containing the valves and spark plugs.
  • n. A buildup of fluid pressure, often quantified as pressure head.
  • n. The difference in elevation between two points in a column of fluid, and the resulting pressure of the fluid at the lower point.
  • n. More generally, energy in a mass of fluid divided by its weight.
  • n. The top edge of a sail.
  • n. The bow of a nautical vessel.
  • n. The toilet of a ship.
  • n. Fellatio or cunnilingus; oral sex.
  • n. The glans penis.
  • n. A heavy or habitual user of illicit drugs.
  • n. A headland.
  • n. The part of hard drives responsible for reading and writing data.
  • adj. Of, relating to, or intended for the head.
  • adj. Foremost in rank or importance.
  • adj. Placed at the top or the front.
  • adj. Coming from in front.
  • v. To be in command of. (See also head up.)
  • v. To strike with the head; as in soccer, to head the ball
  • v. To move in a specified direction.
  • v. To remove the head from a fish.
  • v. To originate; to spring; to have its course, as a river.
  • v. To form a head.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. The anterior or superior part of an animal, containing the brain, or chief ganglia of the nervous system, the mouth, and in the higher animals, the chief sensory organs; poll; cephalon.
  • n. The uppermost, foremost, or most important part of an inanimate object; such a part as may be considered to resemble the head of an animal; often, also, the larger, thicker, or heavier part or extremity, in distinction from the smaller or thinner part, or from the point or edge; ; that which covers and closes the top or the end of a hollow vessel.
  • n. The place where the head should go.
  • n. The most prominent or important member of any organized body; the chief; the leader.
  • n. The place or honor, or of command; the most important or foremost position; the front
  • n. Each one among many; an individual; -- often used in a plural sense.
  • n. The seat of the intellect; the brain; the understanding; the mental faculties
  • n. The source, fountain, spring, or beginning, as of a stream or river; ; hence, the altitude of the source, or the height of the surface, as of water, above a given place, as above an orifice at which it issues, and the pressure resulting from the height or from motion; sometimes also, the quantity in reserve; ; also, that part of a gulf or bay most remote from the outlet or the sea.
  • n. A headland; a promontory.
  • n. A separate part, or topic, of a discourse; a theme to be expanded; a subdivision.
  • n. Culminating point or crisis; hence, strength; force; height.
  • n. Power; armed force.
  • n. A headdress; a covering of the head
  • n. An ear of wheat, barley, or of one of the other small cereals.
  • n.
  • n. A dense cluster of flowers, as in clover, daisies, thistles; a capitulum.
  • n. A dense, compact mass of leaves, as in a cabbage or a lettuce plant.
  • n. The antlers of a deer.
  • n. A rounded mass of foam which rises on a pot of beer or other effervescing liquor.
  • n. Tiles laid at the eaves of a house.
  • adj. Principal; chief; leading; first
  • transitive v. To be at the head of; to put one's self at the head of; to lead; to direct; to act as leader to.
  • transitive v. To form a head to; to fit or furnish with a head.
  • transitive v. To behead; to decapitate.
  • transitive v. To cut off the top of; to lop off.
  • transitive v. To go in front of; to get in the front of, so as to hinder or stop; to oppose; hence, to check or restrain
  • transitive v. To set on the head.
  • intransitive v. To originate; to spring; to have its source, as a river.
  • intransitive v. To go or point in a certain direction; to tend
  • intransitive v. To form a head.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. The upper part or division of the human body, consisting of the more or less rounded skull and its integuments and contents, the organs of sight, hearing, taste, etc., with the mouth and its parts, and joined to the trunk by the neck; in an extended sense, the corresponding part of any animal's body; the front, fore, or top part or oral end of an animal, in any way distinguished from the rest of the body, as by being borne upon a neck; the end opposite the tail.
  • n. Mental faculty regarded as seated in the head; intelligence; understanding; will or resolution; inclination; mind.
  • n. An individual animal or person; especially, an animal or a person considered as merely one of a number: as, to charge so much a head.
  • n. One who has the first rank or place, and to whom others are subordinate; a principal person; a leader; a chief: as, the head of an army; the head of a sect or party.
  • n. A conspicuous external covering or prominence on the head.
  • n. The antlers of a deer.
  • n. A part of a thing regarded as in some degree resembling the human head in position, form, or importance.
  • n. The top or upper part of a plant the leaves of which form a single more or less compact mass: as, a head of grain or of lettuce.
  • n. In botany, a more or less globular cluster of sessile or nearly sessile flowers centripetal in development, as in the plane-tree, button-bush, clover, etc. By the shortening of the rays the umbel becomes a head, as in Eryngium, Sanicula, etc. In the Compositæ the flowers are always collected into a head, but they are then situated on a conical, flat, or even concave receptacle. Gray calls such a head the anthodium, from the resemblance of the whole head to a single flower. In the Characeæ Sachs applies the term head (köpfchen) to a peculiar hyaline cell situated at the central end of each of the eight manubria. See head-cell, and cut under anthoclinium.
  • n. The main point or part; that which constitutes the most conspicuous or most important feature.
  • n. The fore part; hence, the foremost place; the most prominent or honorable position: as, the head of a ship (which includes the bows on both sides); the head of a procession, of a column of troops, or of a class; the head of the table; the head of a profession.
  • n. That end of a thing which is regarded as the upper end: as, the head of a bed; the head of a street.
  • n. Of a barrel or the like, either end when closed; hence, the material with which either end is closed: as, to knock out both heads of a cask.
  • n. That which rises to the top, as the froth on a pot of beer.
  • n. That part of an abscess or a boil where it breaks or seems likely to break: often used figuratively.
  • n. The principal source, or one of the sources, as of a stream; the remotest point from the mouth or opening into a sea or lake, as of a creek, bay, or gulf; a source or spring in general.
  • n. The accumulation of oil in oil-tubes when the pumps are idle.
  • n. A reliquary in the shape of a human head. See chef, 3.
  • n. A headland or promontory, as in the names Gay Head, Flamborough Head.
  • n. A special part of a tool, instrument, etc., having some analogy with the human head, as the upper or steel part of an anvil; the riser, sprue, or sullage-piece of a casting; the obverse of a coin; the capital of a column; the striking part of a hammer, in contradistinction to the helve, and the pole as distinguished from the claw or peen; the poppet of a lathe; the lathe-stock in which is the live spindle, as distinguished from the tail-stock, which contains the dead spindle; the top edge of a book; the top of a door, etc.
  • n. A bundle of flax measuring probably 2 feet in length, and weighing a few pounds. In Dorsetshire a head of hemp weighs 4 pounds. According to the statute of Edward I. called Tractatus de ponderibus et mensuris, a head of linen is 10 yards: “Cheef de fustiano constat ex tredecim ulnis: caput findonis ex decem ulnis.” In whaling: The upper end of a piece of blubber in boarding; the square end cut off from the main piece, and separately hauled in. That part of a whale which includes the white-horse, junk, and case, as of a sperm-whale, or the whalebone and some blubber of a baleen-whale.
  • n. In tortoise-shell manuf., the larger plates, taken collectively, of the upper shell of the caret or hawk's-bill turtle, usually thirteen in number.
  • n. In musical notation, the principal part of a note — that is, that part which indicates by its position on the staff the pitch of the tone: as, distinguished from the stem or tail. (See note.) Heads are either open, as in semibreves and minims, or solid, as in crotchets, quavers, etc.
  • n. In various stringed musical instruments of the lute and viol families, that part of the instrument above the neck where the tuning-pegs are inserted. It is usually carved ornamentally, especially in the older instruments. See lute, viol, guitar, etc.
  • n. In musical instruments of the drum family, the stretched membrane covering one or both of the ends, by striking which the tone is produced. The tension of the head and thus the pitch of the tone are governed by a ring around the edge, which may be raised or lowered, relaxing or tightening the membrane. See drum, tambourine.
  • n. In hydrostatics, the height of water above a given level, as in a pond or reservoir, considered as a measure of its quantity or force of fall: also reckoned in terms of the pressure of the water per square inch at the given level: as, a reservoir with forty feet head of water. See fall.
  • n. In pneumatics, the difference of pressure on a unit of base existing between two fluid columns of different densities communicating at their bases: estimated as the height of a column of the denser fluid whose pressure on a unit of its base is equal to the difference: as, the head which determines the velocity of flow in a chimney.
  • n. In steam- and gas-engin., the pressure of a confined volume of steam or gas upon a unit of the interior surface of a confining vessel, estimated in terms either of weight or of the height of a column of water or mercury which would exert the same pressure upon a unit of area of its base: as, a full head of steam.
  • n. A culmination or crisis; height; force; strength; pitch. Compare def. 6 .
  • n. Power; armed force.
  • n. A chief point or subject; one of a number of successive topics of discourse, or a summary thereof: as, the heads of a discourse or treatise.
  • n. A printed or written title; a heading.
  • n. In coal-mining: A level or road driven into the solid coal for proving or working a mine. The part of a face or breast nearest the roof. See heading, 10.
  • n. In angling, a feather or herl wound closely on the body of an artificial fly, both for ornament and to hide the butt-end of the wing where it is clipped off.
  • n. By the height of the head and shoulders; hence, by a great deal; by much; by far; greatly: as, he is head and shoulders above his fellows.
  • n. To come to a crisis or consummation. Also to draw to a head.
  • n. To resist with an opposing force; combine against.
  • n. Synonyms Commander, Leader, etc. See chief.
  • Being at the head; first or foremost; chief; principal: as, the head waters of a river; the head man of a village; a head workman.
  • Coming from in front; bearing toward the head, as of a ship: as, a head wind; a head sea.
  • [In many instances usage varies between writing head separately as an adjective and joining it by a hyphen with a noun to make a compound.]
  • To take off the head of; behead; decapitate: now rare or obsolete, except with reference to plants, fish, etc.: as, to head back a tree (that is, to prune it at the top, so as to promote lateral instead of upward growth); to head thistles; to head a fish.
  • To be or put one's self at the head of; lead; direct; act as leader of.
  • To form a head to; fit or furnish with a head: as, to head a nail or a cask.

Etymologies

Middle English, from Old English hēafod.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Middle English hed, heed, heved, heaved, from Old English hēafod ("head; top; source, origin; chief, leader; capital"), from Proto-Germanic *haubudan (“head”), from Proto-Indo-European *kauput-, *káput (“head”), a variant of *kapōlo (“head, bowl”). Cognate with Scots heid, hede, hevid, heved ("head"), Old English hafola ("head"), North Frisian hood ("head"), Dutch hoofd ("head"), German Haupt ("head"), Swedish huvud ("head"), Icelandic höfuð ("head"), Latin caput ("head"), Sanskrit कपालः (kapāla, "cup, bowl, skull"), Hindi कपाल (kapāl, "skull"), and (through borrowing from Sanskrit) Japanese  (kawara, "a covering bone: kneecap, skull"),  (kawara, "a roof tile"). (Wiktionary)

Examples

Comments

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  • Navy slang for bathroom. See also rears.

    February 25, 2010


  • And the train emerges from all directions
    It whistles and goes right through the woman
    the whole length of her.
    Where the woman bleeds, there will never be spring
    Again.
    in the night, in her head, under the pillow
    trains pass filled with men
    filled with mud
    and they all go through her
    the whole length of them.

    - Rachida Madani, 'Tales of a Severed Head, I', translated from the French by Marilyn Hacker.

    November 10, 2008

  • can be singular or plural, e.g. forty head of cattle.

    April 21, 2008