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[hed-lahyn] /ˈhɛdˌlaɪn/
noun, Also called head
a heading in a newspaper for any written material, sometimes for an illustration, to indicate subject matter, set in larger type than that of the copy and containing one or more words and lines and often several banks.
the largest such heading on the front page, usually at the top.
the line at the top of a page, containing the title, pagination, etc.
verb (used with object), headlined, headlining.
to furnish with a headline.
to mention or name in a headline.
to publicize, feature, or star (a specific performer, product, etc.).
to be the star of (a show, nightclub act, etc.)
verb (used without object), headlined, headlining.
to be the star of an entertainment.
Origin of headline
First recorded in 1620-30; head + line1 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for headline
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • I'd rather write one good novel than all the headline stuff in the world.

    The Harbor Ernest Poole
  • She seized the yellow journal, and threw her glance from headline to headline.

    The Mystery of Murray Davenport Robert Neilson Stephens
  • “Groan yourself,” said Mr. Mix, and put a trembling finger on the headline.

    Rope Holworthy Hall
  • I can see the face of my friend June Travis when she reads that headline.

    The Crystal Ball Roy J. Snell
  • "Good for Lem," said Johnnie, and he handed her the paper, pointing to a headline.

    In Pawn Ellis Parker Butler
British Dictionary definitions for headline


Also called head, heading
  1. a phrase at the top of a newspaper or magazine article indicating the subject of the article, usually in larger and heavier type
  2. a line at the top of a page indicating the title, page number, etc
(usually pl) the main points of a television or radio news broadcast, read out before the full broadcast and summarized at the end
hit the headlines, to become prominent in the news
(transitive) to furnish (a story or page) with a headline
to have top billing (in)
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 headline

1670s, from head (n.) in sense "heading of a book or chapter" (c.1200) + line (n.). Originally a printers' term for the line at the top of a page containing the title and page number; used of newspapers from 1890, and transferred unthinkingly to broadcast media. Headlinese "language peculiar to headlines" is from 1927. Headlines "important news" is from 1908.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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