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90s Slang You Should Know


[hed-lahyt] /ˈhɛdˌlaɪt/
a light or lamp, usually equipped with a reflector, on the front of an automobile, locomotive, etc.
Origin of headlight
An Americanism dating back to 1860-65; head + light1 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for headlight
Historical Examples
  • The express was timed to pass up there about midnight, but it was near one o'clock when her headlight came in sight.

  • My eyes were dazzled by a headlight that one of them carried.

    Old Man Savarin and Other Stories Edward William Thomson
  • But this headlight seemed different from the others, paler in its luster, not so steady in its glare.

    Careers of Danger and Daring Cleveland Moffett
  • headlight is one of the most promising of Munsons many valuable grapes.

    The Grapes of New York U. P. Hedrick
  • The headlight was hors de combat; only the "dimmer" would work.

  • The red gleam of the headlight on dull metal shone on the far side.

    Mountain Clement Wood
  • He lifted her hand gently from his forearm, led her to the front of the locomotive, and held her hand up to the headlight.

    The Valley of the Giants Peter B. Kyne
  • They spoke scarcely a word until they saw the headlight of her train.

    Fidelity Susan Glaspell
  • The train was in the railroad yards, and the glare of the headlight was in the waiting room.

    A Certain Rich Man William Allen White
  • The headlight was almost covered, but they were making good time.

British Dictionary definitions for headlight


a powerful light, equipped with a reflector and attached to the front of a motor vehicle, locomotive, etc See also quartz-iodine lamp
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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Word Origin and History for headlight

1861, originally of ships and locomotives, from head (n.) + light (n.). Related: Headlights, which, as slang for "a woman's breasts," is from 1940s.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for headlight



  1. A light-skinned black person (1950s+ Black)
  2. A large diamond, esp in a ring or clasp: A lurid ''headlight'' in his tie (1940s+)
The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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