Definitions

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

  • noun Mental activity or work; thought.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun Mental or intellectual labor.
  • noun In architecture, the heads and other ornaments on the keystone of an arch.
  • noun plural The group of artificial works or constructions at the head of an artificial canal or channel necessary to divert and regulate the flow of water from a river or other body of water into the canal.
  • noun plural A platform or raft with windlass or capstan which is attached to the front of a log-raft or boom of logs for warping, kedging. or winding it through lakes and still water, by hand or horse-power.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun Mental labor.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun Mental or intellectual labour.
  • noun The use of logic and clear thinking to do something.

Etymologies

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From head +‎ work.

Examples

  • There can be no harm in drawing the attention of the mob to the fact that the classes above them work with their heads, for any kind of headwork is mortal anguish to the man in the street.

    Studies in Pessimism

  • Perhaps I need the movement implied in writing rather than headwork to make the architecture fully unfold.

    March 4th, 2008

  • It is true enough that we have had some rare intellectual specimens in the higher frames of boxing glory, but I can truthfully say that no man ever attained genuine boxing recognition without real headwork.

    Boing Boing

  • The Nurek headwork incorporates a unique rock-fill dam with a central core, 310 m in height, a power plant with a capacity of 2,700 megawatts (MW) and a reservoir with a capacity of 10.5 km3.

    Water profile of Tajikistan

  • I spent a lot of time on the back of the bike doing “headwork” and trying to sort out character motivations and worldbuilding.

    Help with listening and reading?

  • So, I feel that our plan and the headwork that we have done will provide the framework for the world to actually come in and help us solve this problem.

    CNN Transcript Jan 1, 2006

  • Ensign Neil ARMSTRONG of VF-51 saved his own life with a piece of exceptionally fast headwork.

    First Man

  • Ensign Neil ARMSTRONG of VF-51 saved his own life with a piece of exceptionally fast headwork.

    First Man

  • Ensign Neil ARMSTRONG of VF-51 saved his own life with a piece of exceptionally fast headwork.

    First Man

  • Ensign Neil ARMSTRONG of VF-51 saved his own life with a piece of exceptionally fast headwork.

    First Man

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