from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. In ship-building, one of the elliptical rails at the head of a ship.
  • n. The upper horizontal member of a door-frame.
  • n. A kerchief or other garment of linen for the head, worn especially by women.


Sorry, no etymologies found.


  • The giddiness caught him and he clutched at the head-rail of the bed to steady himself.

    The Sound of Thunder

  • Finally, one of the bystanders more daring than the rest advanced, and boldly turned back the hood of the head-rail, letting it hang down over his shoulders, and the head of an old man was revealed.

    A Boy's Ride

  • A murmur of surprise and expectation now ran through the crowd, and the same bold hand bodily removed the head-rail and the robe beneath it; and there stood old Bartlemy in his gray woollen tunic, his legs bare from the knees down, and his feet encased in skin shoes reaching to his ankles.

    A Boy's Ride

  • With an air of pride the old man, clad in his woman's dress, consisting of a long, loose, blue robe surmounted by a long, red head-rail which reached to his knees, walked back to the horses.

    A Boy's Ride

  • The Anglo-Saxon ladies seldom, if ever, went with their heads bare; sometimes the veil, or _head-rail_, was replaced by a golden head-band, or it was worn over the veil.

    Godey's Lady's Book, Vol. 42, January, 1851

  • The tow-rope surged over, snapping the iron stanchions of the head-rail one after another as if they had been sticks of sealing-wax.

    A Set of Six

  • Look at that, sir, "-- as the schooner leapt from the crest of a sea into the hollow beyond, and the foam buzzed and boiled to the level of her lee head-rail and then went glancing away dizzily aft --" ain't that just perfectly beautiful?

    A Middy of the King A Romance of the Old British Navy

  • But what was the old black brier-wood pipe doing on the head-rail between the two graves?

    Children of the Tenements


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