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[hawgz-hed, hogz-] /ˈhɔgzˌhɛd, ˈhɒgz-/
a large cask, especially one containing from 63 to 140 gallons (238 to 530 liters).
any of various units of liquid measure, especially one equivalent to 63 gallons (238 liters).
Abbreviation: hhd.
Origin of hogshead
1350-1400; Middle English hoggeshed, literally, hog's head; unexplained Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for hogshead
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • They have brought a hogshead of beer, and are broaching it upon the high altar.

    Micah Clarke Arthur Conan Doyle
  • When in hospital, chance had given him hogshead Geoffrey for bed-neighbour.

    A Nest of Spies Pierre Souvestre
  • Then, to repeat my interrogatory, what was you a doing of with the kitten in the hogshead?

    Paul Prescott's Charge Horatio Alger
  • I wish Mr. Schultz were in a hogshead of it, with the top on.

    Proserpina, Volume 1 John Ruskin
  • The utmost of his generosity to Amhurst, that I ever heard of, was a hogshead of claret!

    Waverley Sir Walter Scott
  • Your representative has agreed that you shall give a hogshead.

  • But be reasonable, and leave me the sixth hogshead at least.

  • When you want to see M. "hogshead" Geoffroy, your procedure is simplicity itself.

    Fantmas Pierre Souvestre
  • "Pay for a drink, and I'll listen to you," said hogshead Geoffroy to his sister.

    Fantmas Pierre Souvestre
British Dictionary definitions for hogshead


a unit of capacity, used esp for alcoholic beverages. It has several values, being 54 imperial gallons in the case of beer and 52.5 imperial gallons in the case of wine
a large cask used for shipment of wines and spirits
Word Origin
C14: of obscure origin
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 hogshead

"large cask or barrel," late 14c., presumably on some perceived resemblance. The original liquid measure was 63 old wine gallons (by a statute of 1423); later anywhere from 100 to 140 gallons. Borrowed into other Germanic languages, oddly, as ox-head (cf. Dutch okshoofd, German oxhoft, Swedish oxhufvud).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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