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

  • n. The chief man especially of a tribal or traditional village.
  • n. A headsman.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. Alternative spelling of head man.
  • n. headmaster

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A head or leading man, especially of a village community.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A chief; a leader.

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

  • n. the head of a tribe or clan
  • n. an executioner who beheads the condemned person


Sorry, no etymologies found.


  • Now the murder of a native government headman is a serious matter in those parts.

    What Is To Become of the British Protectorates?

  • And whereas in Taiwan the cabessas were selected by the Chinese community itself, in Batavia the headman was appointed by the company. 23 His job was to act as a representative of the Chinese population in discussions with the Dutch leadership in Batavia, to execute the company's instructions among the Chinese community, and to administer justice among the Chinese.

    How Taiwan Became Chinese

  • He also made him a present of an oldish horse which he had got; he had heard that the headman was a priest of the sun, and so he could fatten up the beast and sacrifice him; otherwise he was afraid it might die outright, for it had been injured by the long marching.


  • "Oh, Sandi!" called the headman of the boat, as she went lumbering over the clear green swell, "remember us, your servants!"

    Bones Being Further Adventures in Mr. Commissioner Sanders' Country

  • The headman is a certain William Pine, whose grandfather,

    The English Novel

  • "Uncle Cæsar," the trusted "headman" upon the plantation of Colonel Marshall - Mrs. Henry's father - had once partaken of the Lord's Supper in the church in which his master was an elder.

    Marion Harland's autobiography : the story of a long life,

  • In Palmyra, Hairan was dead, and young Odhainat, his brother, was now Septimus Odaenathus -- "headman" of the city and to all appearances the firm friend of Rome.

    Historic Girls

  • When a "headman" emerges in a hunter-gatherer group, it seems to be that sort of person most of the time.

    ScienceBlogs Channel : Life Science

  • Simultaneously with the construction of works for the advancement of agriculture, the patriarchal village system, copied from that which existed from the earliest ages in India [1], was established in the newly settled districts; and each hamlet, with its governing "headman" its artisans, its barber, its astrologer and washerman, was taught to conduct its own affairs by its village council; to repair its tanks and watercourses, and to collect two harvests in each year by the combined labour of the whole village community.

    Ceylon; an Account of the Island Physical, Historical, and Topographical with Notices of Its Natural History, Antiquities and Productions, Volume 1 (of 2)

  • "headman," who, hiring all the others, makes contracts with a vessel, which is met outside of the roadsteads or harbors, to supply a certain number of men to manage it during her coasting voyage.

    Official Report of the Niger Valley Exploring Party


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