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or head room

[hed-room, -roo m] /ˈhɛdˌrum, -ˌrʊm/
Nautical. the clear space between two decks.
Also called headway.
  1. clear vertical space, as between the head and sill of a doorway, the ceiling and floor of a room, or the ceiling of a vehicular passageway and a vehicle roof, as to allow passage or comfortable occupancy: over 7.5 feet of headroom in the attic;
    a covered bridge with limited headroom.
  2. clear vertical space above one’s head, as in a vehicle or room:
    plenty of headroom for passengers.
Origin of headroom
First recorded in 1850-55; head + room Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for headroom
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • The result was a pleasant airy compartment with headroom even for Roger.

    The Forbidden Trail Honor Willsie
  • The headroom between the subway roof and the surface of the street was 4.75 feet.

  • This roof was level with the bank of the hedge and gave about four feet of headroom.

  • In order to get headroom there is 'trunk' 'rise' on the deck, as shown on the cross-section drawing, 18 in.

    Yachting Vol. 2 Various.
  • Plenty of headroom has always been my cry; I believe that where it is attended to there is very rarely an accident.

    Riding for Ladies Mrs. Power O'Donoghue
  • Rawson could have stood upright in it with easily another two feet of headroom to spare.

    Two Thousand Miles Below Charles Willard Diffin
British Dictionary definitions for headroom


/ˈhɛdˌrʊm; -ˌruːm/
the height of a bridge, room, etc; clearance
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 headroom

"space above the head," 1851, from head (n.) + room (n.).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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