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[hed-lahy-ner] /ˈhɛdˌlaɪ nər/
a performer whose name appears most prominently in a program or advertisement or on a marquee; star.
Origin of headliner
First recorded in 1890-95; headline + -er1 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for headliner
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • They called Eric from private life to be headliner in their vaudeville.

    In a Little Town Rupert Hughes
  • He was only nineteen when he joined the club and was a headliner from the start.

    Pitching in a Pinch Christy Mathewson
  • Eight meetings announced him as headliner, with Cooper Union as the climax.

    The Dual Alliance Marjorie Benton Cooke
  • Why must the headliner always be a talking or a singing person who tells you how much money he needs, or how much she is getting?

    Adventures in the Arts Marsden Hartley
  • The chills were running up and down my spine in our cold apartment, but this headliner froze me stiff.

    Germany in War Time

    Mary Ethel McAuley
British Dictionary definitions for headliner


a performer given prominent billing; star
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 headliner

1891, "one who writes newspaper headlines;" 1896 as "one who stars in a performance;" from headline + -er (1).

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



The main or chief performer; main attraction: She was the headliner last week at the Seven Seas (1896+ Show business)

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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