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

  • noun The uppermost or forwardmost part of the body of a vertebrate, containing the brain and the eyes, ears, nose, mouth, and jaws.
  • noun The analogous part of an invertebrate organism.
  • noun The length or height of such a part.
  • noun The seat of the faculty of reason; intelligence, intellect, or mind.
  • noun Mental ability or aptitude.
  • noun Freedom of choice or action.
  • noun A habitual drug user. Often used in combination.
  • noun An enthusiast. Often used in combination.
  • noun A person considered foolish or contemptible. Often used in combination.
  • noun A portrait or representation of a person's head.
  • noun The side of a coin having the principal design, often the profile of a political leader's head.
  • noun Informal A headache.
  • noun An individual; a person.
  • noun A single animal.
  • noun A person who leads, rules, or is in charge; a leader, chief, or director.
  • noun A headmaster or headmistress.
  • noun The foremost or leading position.
  • noun A headwaiter.
  • noun The difference in depth of a liquid at two given points.
  • noun The measure of pressure at the lower point expressed in terms of this difference.
  • noun The pressure exerted by a liquid or gas.
  • noun The liquid or gas exerting the pressure.
  • noun The froth or foam that rises to the top in pouring an effervescent liquid, such as beer.
  • noun The tip of an abscess, boil, or pimple, in which pus forms.
  • noun A turning point; a crisis.
  • noun A projection, weight, or fixture at the end of an elongated object.
  • noun The working end of a tool or implement.
  • noun The looped part at the end a lacrosse stick, to which the webbing is attached.
  • noun The part of an explosive device that carries the explosive; a warhead.
  • noun The part of a stringed instrument where the strings are wound; a tuning head.
  • noun A tuning machine.
  • noun The rounded proximal end of a long bone.
  • noun The end of a muscle that is attached to the less movable part of the skeleton.
  • noun An attachment to or part of a machine that holds or contains the operative device.
  • noun The magnetic head of a tape recorder or VCR.
  • noun The device in a magnetic disk or tape drive that enables it to read data from and write data to the disk or tape.
  • noun A rounded compact mass, as of leaves or buds.
  • noun Botany A flower head.
  • noun The uppermost part; the top.
  • noun The end considered the most important.
  • noun Either end of an object, such as a drum, whose two ends are interchangeable.


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

[Middle English, from Old English hēafod; see kaput- in Indo-European roots.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

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").


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

    April 21, 2008

  • 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


    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

  • Navy slang for bathroom. See also rears.

    February 25, 2010