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[kraws-hed, kros-] /ˈkrɔsˌhɛd, ˈkrɒs-/
Printing. a title or heading filling a line or group of lines the full width of the column.
Machinery. a sliding member of a reciprocating engine for keeping the motion of the joint between a piston rod and a connecting rod in a straight line.
Nautical. a crosspiece on a rudderpost by which the rudder is turned.
Engineering, Building Trades. a transverse timber for transmitting the lifting effort of two or more jackscrews supporting it to the foot of a shore that it supports.
Compare shore2 (def 1).
Origin of crosshead
First recorded in 1835-45; cross- + head Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for cross-heads
Historical Examples
  • There is art in alliterative headlines and startling “cross-heads.”

    The Seven Secrets William Le Queux
  • The engine had two vertical cylinders and worked the propelling gear with cross-heads and connecting-rods.

    Historic Inventions Rupert S. Holland
  • These bars rest on the cross-heads y, whose pins p act on the bearing boxes of the pressure rolls.

  • If any of the valve-stems should become loose in the cross-heads they may screw themselves either in or out.

    Steam Turbines Hubert E. Collins
  • It has been superseded in our day, by improved piston guides and cross-heads, the construction of which in Pg.

    James Watt Andrew Carnegie
British Dictionary definitions for cross-heads


(printing) a subsection or paragraph heading printed within the body of the text
a block or beam, usually restrained by sliding bearings in a reciprocating mechanism, esp the junction piece between the piston rod and connecting rod of an engine
(nautical) a bar fixed across the top of the rudder post to which the tiller is attached
a block, rod, or beam fixed at the head of any part of a mechanism
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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