from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. The jargon used in headlines of newspapers, often with unconventional grammar.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. The abbreviated writing style of headline writers.

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

  • n. using the abbreviated style of headline writers


headline +‎ -ese (Wiktionary)


  • The English tout is hot, not just in headlinese but also in the body of articles.

    The Right Word in the Right Place at the Right Time

  • Though it is terse and punchy, its judgmental appearance in a headline is to be to use the favorite verbs in headlinese assailed and decried.

    The Right Word in the Right Place at the Right Time

  • The Columbia Journalism Review even published two anthologies of ambiguous headlinese in the 1980s, with the classic titles "Squad Helps Dog Bite Victim" and

    NYT > Home Page

  • As long as there is such a thing as headlinese, we can count on crash blossoms continuing to blossom.

    NYT > Home Page

  • The simplifications of headlinese eliminate all sorts of clues to structure and meaning, forcing the reader to fall back on context, background knowledge, plausibility, and the like.

    Language Log

  • More modest use of headlinese can convey a more conversational and engaged tone and the like.

    Language Log

  • In particular, if the conventions of headlinese allow you to omit certain material, you must.

    Language Log


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  • Heard on an interview by Bob Edwards of Roy Blount touting his new book:Alphabet Juice. The change in the English language occasioned by restricted space for headlines. The decline of newpapers will decrease this generator of new Roy thinks.

    December 15, 2008