Definify.com

Webster 1913 Edition


Head

Head

(hĕd)
,
Noun.
[OE.
hed
,
heved
,
heaved
, AS.
heáfod
; akin to D.
hoofd
, OHG.
houbit
, G.
haupt
, Icel.
höfuð
, Sw.
hufvud
, Dan.
hoved
, Goth.
haubiþ
. The word does not correspond regularly to L.
caput
head (cf. E.
Chief
,
Cadet
,
Capital
), and its origin is unknown.]
1.
The anterior or superior part of an animal, containing the brain, or chief ganglia of the nervous system, the mouth, and in the higher animals, the chief sensory organs; poll; cephalon.
2.
The uppermost, foremost, or most important part of an inanimate object; such a part as may be considered to resemble the head of an animal; often, also, the larger, thicker, or heavier part or extremity, in distinction from the smaller or thinner part, or from the point or edge;
as, the
head
of a cane, a nail, a spear, an ax, a mast, a sail, a ship
; that which covers and closes the top or the end of a hollow vessel;
as, the
head
of a cask or a steam boiler
.
3.
The place where the head should go;
as, the
head
of a bed, of a grave, etc.; the
head
of a carriage, that is, the hood which covers the head
.
4.
The most prominent or important member of any organized body; the chief; the leader;
as, the
head
of a college, a school, a church, a state, and the like
.
“Their princes and heads.”
Robynson (More’s Utopia).
The
heads
of the chief sects of philosophy.
Tillotson.
Your
head
I him appoint.
Milton.
5.
The place or honor, or of command; the most important or foremost position; the front;
as, the
head
of the table; the
head
of a column of soldiers.
An army of fourscore thousand troops, with the duke of Marlborough at the
head
of them.
Addison.
6.
Each one among many; an individual; – often used in a plural sense;
as, a thousand
head
of cattle
.
It there be six millions of people, there are about four acres for every
head
.
Graunt.
7.
The seat of the intellect; the brain; the understanding; the mental faculties;
as, a good
head
, that is, a good mind; it never entered his
head
, it did not occur to him; of his own
head
, of his own thought or will.
Men who had lost both
head
and heart.
Macaulay.
8.
The source, fountain, spring, or beginning, as of a stream or river;
as, the
head
of the Nile
; hence, the altitude of the source, or the height of the surface, as of water, above a given place, as above an orifice at which it issues, and the pressure resulting from the height or from motion; sometimes also, the quantity in reserve;
as, a mill or reservoir has a good
head
of water, or ten feet
head
; also, that part of a gulf or bay most remote from the outlet or the sea.
9.
A headland; a promontory;
as, Gay
Head
.
Shak.
10.
A separate part, or topic, of a discourse; a theme to be expanded; a subdivision;
as, the
heads
of a sermon
.
11.
Culminating point or crisis; hence, strength; force; height.
Ere foul sin, gathering
head
, shall break into corruption.
Shakespeare
The indisposition which has long hung upon me, is at last grown to such a
head
, that it must quickly make an end of me or of itself.
Addison.
12.
Power; armed force.
My lord, my lord, the French have gathered
head
.
Shakespeare
13.
A headdress; a covering of the head;
as, a laced
head
; a
head
of hair.
Swift.
14.
An ear of wheat, barley, or of one of the other small cereals.
15.
(Bot.)
(a)
A dense cluster of flowers, as in clover, daisies, thistles; a capitulum.
(b)
A dense, compact mass of leaves, as in a cabbage or a lettuce plant.
16.
The antlers of a deer.
17.
A rounded mass of foam which rises on a pot of beer or other effervescing liquor.
Mortimer.
18.
pl.
Tiles laid at the eaves of a house.
Knight.
Head is often used adjectively or in self-explaining combinations; as, head gear or headgear, head rest. Cf.
Head
,
Adj.
A buck of the first head
,
a male fallow deer in its fifth year, when it attains its complete set of antlers.
Shak.
By the head
.
(Naut.)
See under
By
.
Elevator head
,
Feed head
, etc.
See under
Elevator
,
Feed
, etc.
From head to foot
,
through the whole length of a man; completely; throughout.
“Arm me, audacity, from head to foot.”
Shak.
Head and ears
,
with the whole person; deeply; completely; as, he was head and ears in debt or in trouble.
[Colloq.]
Head fast
.
(Naut.)
See 5th
Fast
.
Head kidney
(Anat.)
,
the most anterior of the three pairs of embryonic renal organs developed in most vertebrates; the pronephros.
Head money
,
a capitation tax; a poll tax.
Milton.
Head pence
,
a poll tax.
[Obs.]
Head sea
,
a sea that meets the head of a vessel or rolls against her course.
Head and shoulders
.
(a)
By force; violently; as, to drag one, head and shoulders.
“They bring in every figure of speech, head and shoulders.”
Felton.
(b)
By the height of the head and shoulders; hence, by a great degree or space; by far; much; as, he is head and shoulders above them.
Heads or tails
or
Head or tail
,
this side or that side; this thing or that; – a phrase used in throwing a coin to decide a choice, question, or stake, head being the side of the coin bearing the effigy or principal figure (or, in case there is no head or face on either side, that side which has the date on it), and tail the other side.
Neither head nor tail
,
neither beginning nor end; neither this thing nor that; nothing distinct or definite; – a phrase used in speaking of what is indefinite or confused; as, they made neither head nor tail of the matter.
[Colloq.]
Head wind
,
a wind that blows in a direction opposite the vessel's course.
off the top of my head
,
from quick recollection, or as an approximation; without research or calculation; – a phrase used when giving quick and approximate answers to questions, to indicate that a response is not necessarily accurate.
Out of one's own head
,
according to one's own idea; without advice or coöperation of another.
Over the head of
,
beyond the comprehension of.
M. Arnold.
to go over the head of (a person)
,
to appeal to a person superior to (a person) in line of command.
To be out of one's head
,
to be temporarily insane.
To come or draw to a head
.
See under
Come
,
Draw
.
To give (one) the head
, or
To give head
,
to let go, or to give up, control; to free from restraint; to give license.
“He gave his able horse the head.”
Shak.
“He has so long given his unruly passions their head.”
South.
To his head
,
before his face.
“An uncivil answer from a son to a father, from an obliged person to a benefactor, is a greater indecency than if an enemy should storm his house or revile him to his head.”
Jer. Taylor.
To lay heads together
,
to consult; to conspire.
To lose one's head
,
to lose presence of mind.
To make head
, or
To make head against
,
to resist with success; to advance.
To show one's head
,
to appear.
Shak.
To turn head
,
to turn the face or front.
“The ravishers turn head, the fight renews.”
Dryden.

Head

(hĕd)
,
Adj.
Principal; chief; leading; first;
as, the
head
master of a school; the
head
man of a tribe; a
head
chorister; a
head
cook.

Head

(hĕd)
,
Verb.
T.
[
imp. & p. p.
Headed
;
p. pr. & vb. n.
Heading
.]
1.
To be at the head of; to put one's self at the head of; to lead; to direct; to act as leader to;
as, to
head
an army, an expedition, or a riot
.
Dryden.
2.
To form a head to; to fit or furnish with a head;
as, to
head
a nail
.
Spenser.
3.
To behead; to decapitate.
[Obs.]
Shak.
4.
To cut off the top of; to lop off;
as, to
head
trees
.
5.
To go in front of; to get in the front of, so as to hinder or stop; to oppose; hence, to check or restrain;
as, to
head
a drove of cattle; to
head
a person; the wind
heads
a ship.
6.
To set on the head;
as, to
head
a cask
.

Head

,
Verb.
I.
1.
To originate; to spring; to have its source, as a river.
A broad river, that
heads
in the great Blue Ridge.
Adair.
2.
To go or point in a certain direction; to tend;
as, how does the ship
head
?
3.
To form a head;
as, this kind of cabbage
heads
early
.

Webster 1828 Edition


Head

HEAD

,
Noun.
hed.
1.
The uppermost part of the human body, or the foremost part of the body of prone and creeping animals. This part of the human body contains the organs of hearing, seeing, tasting and smelling; it contains also the brain, which is supposed to be the seat of the intellectual powers, and of sensation. Hence the head is the chief or more important part, and is used for the whole person, in the phrase, let the evil fall on my head.
2.
An animal; an individual; as,the tax was raised by a certain rate per head. And we use the singular number to express many. The herd contains twenty head of oxen.
Thirty thousand head of swine.
3.
A chief; a principal person; a leader; a commander; one who has the first rank or place,and to whom others are subordinate; as the head of an army; the head of a sect or party. Eph.5.
4.
The first place; the place of honor, or of command. The lord mayor sat at the head of the table. The general marched at the head of his troops.
5.
Countenance; presence; in the phrases, to hide the head, to show the head.
6.
Understanding; faculties of the mind; sometimes in a ludicrous sense; as, a man has a good head, or a strong head. These men laid their heads together to form the scheme. Never trouble your head about this affair. So we say, to beat the head; to break the head; that is, to study hard, to exercise the understanding or mental faculties.
7.
Face; front; forepart.
The ravishers turn head, the fight renews. [Unusual.]
8.
Resistance; successful opposition; in the phrase, to make head against, that is, to advance, or resist with success.
9.
Spontaneous will or resolution; in the phrases, of his own head, on their own head. But of is more usual than on.
10. State of a deer's horns by which his age is known. The buck is called, the fifth year, a buck of the first head.
11. The top of a thing, especially when larger than the rest of the thing; as the head of a spear; the head of a cabbage; the head of a nail; the head of a mast.
12. The forepart of a thing, as the head of a ship, which includes the bows on both sides; also,the ornamental figure or image erected on or before the stem of a ship.
13. The blade or cutting part of an ax, distinct from the helve.
14. That which rises on the top; as the head or yeast of beer.
15. The upper part of a bed, or bed-stead.
16. The brain.
They turn their heads to imitate the sun.
17. The dress of the head; as a laced head. [Unusual.]
18. The principal source of a stream; as the head of the Nile.
19. Altitude of water in ponds, as applicable to the driving of mill-wheels. The mill has a good head of water.
20. Topic of discourse; chief point or subject; a summary; as the heads of a discourse or treatise.
21. Crisis; pitch; highth. The disease has grown to such a head as to threaten life.
22. Influence; force; strength; pitch. The sedition got to such a head as not to be easily quelled.
23. Body; conflux.
24. Power; armed force.
My lord, my lord, the French have gathered head.
25. Liberty; freedom from restrain; as, to give a horse the head. Hence,
26. License; freedom from check, control or restraint. Children should not have their heads.
He has too long given his unruly passions the head.
27. The hair of the head; as a head of hair.
28. The top of corn or other plant; the part on which the seed grows.
29. The end, or the boards that form the end; as the head of a cask.
30. The part most remote from the mouth or opening into the sea; as the head of a bay, gulf or creek.
31. The maturated part of an ulcer or boil; hence, to come to a head, is to suppurate.
Head and ears, a phrase denoting the whole person, especially when referring to immersion. He plunged head and ears into the water. He was head and ears in debt, that is, completely overwhelmed.
Head and shoulders, by force; violently; as, to drag one head and shoulders.
They bring in every figure of speech, head and shoulders.
Head or tail, or head nor tail, uncertain; not reducible to certainty.
Head, as an adj. or in composition, chief; principal; as a head workman.
By the head, in seamen's language, denotes the state of a ship laden too deeply at the fore-end.

HEAD

,
Verb.
T.
hed.
To lead; to direct; to act as leader to; as, to head an army; to head an expedition; to head a riot.
1.
To behead; to decapitate. [Unusual.]
2.
To form a head to; to fit or furnish with a head; as, to head a nail.
3.
To lop; as, to head trees.
4.
To go in front of; to get into the front; as, to head a drove of cattle.
5.
To set on the head; as, to head a cask.
6.
To oppose; to veer round and blow in opposition to the course of a ship;as, the wind heads us.

HEAD

,
Verb.
I.
hed.
To originate; to spring; to have its source, as a river.
A broad river that heads in the great Blue Ridge of mountains.

Definition 2021


Head

Head

See also: head and -head

English

Proper noun

Head

  1. A surname, from residence near a hilltop or the head of a river, or a byname for someone with an odd-looking head.

Anagrams

head

head

See also: Head and -head

English

Alternative forms

  • heed (obsolete), hed (obsolete)
  • 'ead (UK, eye dialect)

Noun

Picture dictionary

Click on labels in the image

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About this image

body

head (countable and uncountable, plural heads)

  1. (countable) The part of the body of an animal or human which contains the brain, mouth, and main sense organs.
    Be careful when you pet that dog on the head; it may bite.
    • 1913, Joseph C. Lincoln, chapter 8, in Mr. Pratt's Patients:
      Afore we got to the shanty Colonel Applegate stuck his head out of the door. His temper had been getting raggeder all the time, and the sousing he got when he fell overboard had just about ripped what was left of it to ravellings.
    1. (people) To do with heads.
      1. Mental or emotional aptitude or skill.
        The company is looking for people with good heads for business.
        He has no head for heights.
        It's all about having a good head on your shoulders.
      2. Mind; one's own thoughts.
        This song keeps going through my head.
        • 1935, George Goodchild, chapter 1, in Death on the Centre Court:
          “Anthea hasn't a notion in her head but to vamp a lot of silly mugwumps. She's set her heart on that tennis bloke [] whom the papers are making such a fuss about.”
      3. A headache; especially one resulting from intoxication.
        • 1888, Rudyard Kipling, ‘Thrown Away’, Plain Tales from the Hills, Folio Society 2005 edition, page 18,
          he took them seriously, too, just as seriously as he took the ‘head’ that followed after drink.
      4. A headdress; a covering for the head.
        a laced head;   a head of hair
      5. An individual person.
        Admission is three dollars a head.
    2. (animals) To do with heads.
      1. (uncountable, measure word for livestock and game) A single animal.
        200 head of cattle and 50 head of horses
        12 head of big cattle and 14 head of branded calves
        at five years of age this head of cattle is worth perhaps $40
        a reduction in the assessment per head of sheep
        they shot 20 head of quail
      2. The population of game.
        we have a heavy head of deer this year;  planting the hedges increased the head of quail and doves
      3. The antlers of a deer.
  2. (countable) The topmost, foremost, or leading part.
    What does it say at the head of the page?
    • 1913, Joseph C. Lincoln, chapter 10, in Mr. Pratt's Patients:
      Men that I knew around Wapatomac didn't wear high, shiny plug hats, nor yeller spring overcoats, nor carry canes with ivory heads as big as a catboat's anchor, as you might say.
    1. The end of a table.
      1. The end of a rectangular table furthest from the entrance; traditionally considered a seat of honor.
        During meetings, the supervisor usually sits at the head of the table.
      2. (billiards) The end of a pool table opposite the end where the balls have been racked.
    2. (countable) The principal operative part of a machine or tool.
      1. The end of a hammer, axe, golf club, or similar implement used for striking other objects.
      2. The end of a nail, ****, bolt, or similar fastener which is opposite the point; usually blunt and relatively wide.
        Hit the nail on the head!
      3. The sharp end of an arrow, spear, or pointer.
        The head of the compass needle is pointing due north.
      4. (lacrosse) The top part of a lacrosse stick that holds the ball.
      5. (music) A drum head, the membrane which is hit to produce sound.
        Tap the head of the drum for this roll.
      6. A machine element which reads or writes electromagnetic signals to or from a storage medium.
        The heads of your tape player need to be cleaned.
      7. (computing) The part of a disk drive responsible for reading and writing data.
      8. (automotive) The cylinder head, a platform above the cylinders in an internal combustion engine, containing the valves and spark plugs.
    3. The foam that forms on top of beer or other carbonated beverages.
      Pour me a fresh beer; this one has no head.
    4. (engineering) The end cap of a cylindrically-shaped pressure vessel.
    5. (Britain, geology) Deposits near the top of a geological succession.
    6. (medicine) The end of an abscess where pus collects.
    7. (music) The headstock of a guitar.
    8. (nautical) A leading component.
      1. The top edge of a sail.
      2. The bow of a vessel.
    9. (Britain) A headland.
  3. (social, countable) A leader or expert.
    1. The place of honour, or of command; the most important or foremost position; the front.
      • Joseph Addison (1672-1719)
        an army of fourscore thousand troops, with the duke Marlborough at the head of them
    2. Leader; chief; mastermind.
      I'd like to speak to the head of the department.
      Police arrested the head of the gang in a raid last night.
      • 1913, Joseph C. Lincoln, chapter 7, in Mr. Pratt's Patients:
        “I don't know how you and the ‘head,’ as you call him, will get on, but I do know that if you call my duds a ‘livery’ again there'll be trouble. It's bad enough to go around togged out like a life saver on a drill day, but I can stand that 'cause I'm paid for it. What I won't stand is to have them togs called a livery. []
    3. A headmaster or headmistress.
      I was called into the head's office to discuss my behaviour.
    4. (music, slang) A person with an extensive knowledge of hip hop.
      Only true heads know this.
  4. A significant or important part.
    1. A beginning or end, a protuberance.
      1. The source of a river; the end of a lake where a river flows into it.
        The expedition followed the river all the way to the head.
      2. A clump of seeds, leaves or flowers; a capitulum.
        Give me a head of lettuce.
        • 2013 May-June, David Van Tassel, Lee DeHaan, Wild Plants to the Rescue”, in American Scientist, volume 101, number 3:
          Plant breeding is always a numbers game. [] The wild species we use are rich in genetic variation,  [] . In addition, we are looking for rare alleles, so the more plants we try, the better. These rarities may be new mutations, or they can be existing ones that are neutral—or are even selected against—in a wild population. A good example is mutations that disrupt seed dispersal, leaving the seeds on the heads long after they are ripe.
        1. An ear of wheat, barley, or other small cereal.
        2. The leafy top part of a tree.
      3. (anatomy) The rounded part of a bone fitting into a depression in another bone to form a ball-and-socket joint.
      4. (nautical) The toilet of a ship.
        I've got to go to the head.
      5. (in the plural) Tiles laid at the eaves of a house.
        (Can we find and add a quotation of Knight to this entry?)
    2. A component.
      1. (jazz) The principal melody or theme of a piece.
      2. (linguistics) A morpheme that determines the category of a compound or the word that determines the syntactic type of the phrase of which it is a member.
  5. Headway; progress.
    We are having a difficult time making head against this wind.
  6. Topic; subject.
    We will consider performance issues under the head of future improvements.
  7. (uncountable) Denouement; crisis.
    These isses are going to come to a head today.
    • William Shakespeare (1564-1616)
      Ere foul sin, gathering head, shall break into corruption.
    • Joseph Addison (1672-1719)
      The indisposition which has long hung upon me, is at last grown to such a head, that it must quickly make an end of me or of itself.
  8. (fluid dynamics) Pressure and energy.
    1. A buildup of fluid pressure, often quantified as pressure head.
      Let the engine build up a good head of steam.
    2. The difference in elevation between two points in a column of fluid, and the resulting pressure of the fluid at the lower point.
    3. More generally, energy in a mass of fluid divided by its weight.
  9. (slang, uncountable) Fellatio or cunnilingus; oral sex.
    She gave great head.
  10. (slang) The glans ****.
  11. (slang, countable) A heavy or habitual user of illicit drugs.
    • 1936, Lee Duncan, Over The Wall, Dutton
      Then I saw the more advanced narcotic addicts, who shot unbelievable doses of powerful heroin in the main line – the vein of their arms; the hysien users; chloroform sniffers, who belonged to the riff-raff element of the dope chippeys, who mingled freely with others of their kind; canned heat stiffs, paragoric hounds, laudanum fiends, and last but not least, the veronal heads.
    • 1968, Fred Davis; Laura Munoz, “Heads and freaks: patterns and meanings of drug use among hippies”, in Journal of Health and Social Behavior, volume 9, number 2, page 156-64:
      The term, "head," is, of course, not new with hippies. It has a long history among drug users generally, for whom it signified a regular, experienced user of any illegal drug—e.g., pot "head," meth "head," smack (heroin) "head."
    • 2005, Martin Torgoff, Can't Find My Way Home, Simon & Schuster, page 177,
      The hutch now looks like a “Turkish bath,” and the heads have their arms around one another, passing the pipe and snapping their fingers as they sing Smokey Robinson's “Tracks of My Tears” into the night.
  12. (obsolete) Power; armed force.
    (Can we find and add a quotation of Jonathan Swift to this entry?)

Quotations

  • For usage examples of this term, see Citations:head.

See also

Synonyms

Antonyms

Usage notes

  • To give something its head is to allow it to run freely. This is used for horses, and, sometimes, figuratively for vehicles.

Derived terms

Translations

Adjective

head (not comparable)

  1. Of, relating to, or intended for the head.
  2. Foremost in rank or importance.
    • 1918, W. B. Maxwell, chapter 19, in The Mirror and the Lamp:
      At the far end of the houses the head gardener stood waiting for his mistress, and he gave her strips of bass to tie up her nosegay. This she did slowly and laboriously, with knuckly old fingers that shook.
    the head cook
  3. Placed at the top or the front.
  4. Coming from in front.
    head sea;   head wind

Synonyms

Antonyms

  • (coming from in front): tail

Translations

Verb

head (third-person singular simple present heads, present participle heading, simple past and past participle headed)

  1. (transitive) To be in command of. (See also head up.)
    Who heads the board of trustees?
    to head an army, an expedition, or a riot
  2. (transitive) To strike with the head; as in soccer, to head the ball
  3. (intransitive) To move in a specified direction.
    We are going to head up North for our holiday. We will head off tomorrow. Next holiday we will head out West, or head to Chicago. Right now I need to head into town to do some shopping.
    I'm fed up working for a boss. I'm going to head out on my own, set up my own business.
    How does the ship head?
  4. (fishing) To remove the head from a fish.
    The salmon are first headed and then scaled.
  5. (intransitive) To originate; to spring; to have its course, as a river.
    • Adair
      A broad river, that heads in the great Blue Ridge.
  6. (intransitive) To form a head.
    This kind of cabbage heads early.
    • 1995, Anne Raver, “Gandhi Gardening”, in Deep in the Green: An Exploration of Country Pleasures, New York, N.Y.: Alfred A. Knopf, ISBN 978-0-307-82840-8:
      To be honest, this hasn't been my Garden of Eden year. [] The lettuce turned bitter and bolted. The Green Comet broccoli was good, but my coveted Romanescos never headed up.
  7. To form a head to; to fit or furnish with a head.
    to head a nail
    (Can we find and add a quotation of Spenser to this entry?)
  8. To cut off the top of; to lop off.
    to head trees
  9. (obsolete) To behead; to decapitate.
    (Can we find and add a quotation of Shakespeare to this entry?)
  10. To go in front of; to get in the front of, so as to hinder or stop; to oppose; hence, to check or restrain.
    to head a drove of cattle; to head a person; the wind heads a ship
  11. To set on the head.
    to head a cask

Derived terms

Translations

Related terms

Statistics

Most common English words before 1923: seemed · house · looked · #184: head · called · p · Lord

Anagrams


Estonian

Adjective

head

  1. partitive singular form of hea
  2. plural form of hea