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

  • n. A nonmoving part of a machine or power tool that supports a revolving part, such as the spindle of a lathe.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A part of a machine (such as a lathe or drill) that supports a rotating part
  • n. A beam that supports a bell
  • n. A clamp that restrains a cow by the neck
  • n. The part of a guitar that holds the tensioning screws of the strings

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. The part of a lathe that holds the revolving spindle and its attachments; -- also called poppet head, the opposite corresponding part being called a tailstock.
  • n. The part of a planing machine that supports the cutter, etc.
  • n. See Headstock.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. In machinery: The framing used to support the gudgeons of a wheel.
  • n. In a lathe, the frame which supports the live spindle, to which the work is chucked or dogged, as distinguished from the tail-stock, which supports the dead spindle; the live head.
  • n. The transverse member which forms the end of the under frame of an American railroad-car.
  • n. The central frame of a spinning-mule, containing the operative mechanism of the machine.
  • n. The wooden cross-beam to which a bell is bolted and which serves as the pivot on which it swings. Also called stock.

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

  • n. the stationary support in a machine or power tool that supports and drives a revolving part (as a chuck or the spindle on a lathe)


Sorry, no etymologies found.


  • Recently cultivated strains of moustache such as the Octopus also feature prominently, and the headstock is graced with an inspiring moustache quote, sure to please any moustache fancier.

    Boing Boing

  • A Gibson Les Paul headstock is shorter - one prospective buyer came all the way over with his Epi LP, only to find out it was too long for this case by about an inch or so.

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  • It looks like the headstock is the same or similar to the headstocks used on the Masterbilt guitars (and the mandolin prototypes discussed recently).

    Mandolin Cafe News

  • The distance between the five buttons by the headstock is the same on the various guitars we own.

    BellaOnline - The Voice of Women

  • The classic flowerpot inlay at the headstock is a classy touch.

    Gearwire -

  • It doesn't refer to the sounds it makes but to the builders logo on the headstock which is a cute little tree frog.

    Mandolin Cafe News

  • This bell was cast at the old Cripplegate Foundry, London, and is hung from a very large wooden headstock which is turned by fabricated metal wheels.


  • If I ever do quit my job and form a band, I'll be sure to notify you to get a bouquet to strap to the headstock of my bass guitar.

    In a Second Life

  • A lacy, black brassiere ended up draped over the headstock of my Les Paul, just as we tore into the Hound Dog Taylor classic, Give Me Back My Wig.

    The Dead Goat Society

  • The ever-present pheasant feather bobs in the air, attached to the headstock of his swaying guitar.

    Theo Spielberg: On The Road With Free Energy And The Postelles: Los Angeles


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  • On a guitar, the flat area at the end of the neck where the tuning heads are located. Also known as a peghead.

    November 15, 2007