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headman

[hed-muh n, -man]
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noun, plural head·men [hed-muh n, -men] /ˈhɛd mən, -ˌmɛn/.
  1. a chief or leader.
  2. headsman.

Origin of headman

before 1000; Middle English he(ve)dman, Old English hēafodman. See head, man1
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for headman

Historical Examples

  • More and more stretches the distance between the bwana and his headman.

    The Leopard Woman

    Stewart Edward White

  • Then, as the headman hurried up: "Get me the box of medicines, quick!"

    The Leopard Woman

    Stewart Edward White

  • The headman, they insisted everywhere, must accept as a present whatever he liked to have.

    Anabasis

    Xenophon

  • So for the present Xenophon went off, taking the headman back with him to his household and friends.

    Anabasis

    Xenophon

  • All attempts of the headman and elders to restrain him were useless.


British Dictionary definitions for headman

headman

noun plural -men
  1. anthropol a chief or leader
  2. a foreman or overseer
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

Word Origin and History for headman

n.

"chief man, leader," Old English heafodman; see head (adj.) + man (n.). Cognate with German Hauptmann "captain."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper