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[law-ger-hed, log-er-] /ˈlɔ gərˌhɛd, ˈlɒg ər-/
a thick-headed or stupid person; blockhead.
a ball or bulb of iron with a long handle, used, after being heated, to melt tar, heat liquids, etc.
a rounded post, in the stern of a whaleboat, around which the harpoon line is passed.
a circular inkwell having a broad, flat base.
at loggerheads, engaged in a disagreement or dispute; quarreling:
They were at loggerheads over the distribution of funds.
Origin of loggerhead
1580-90; logger block of wood (first attested alone in 18th century) + head
Related forms
loggerheaded, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for loggerheads
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • As to the possibility, however, the authorities are at loggerheads.

    The Man Shakespeare Frank Harris
  • Italy was at loggerheads with Austria, her ally, and about to break.

  • She had, however, a strong will, and was invariably at loggerheads with others.

    A Zola Dictionary J. G. Patterson
  • He and the village have been at loggerheads about the Institute, I believe.

    Robert Elsmere Mrs. Humphry Ward
  • Well, my dear fellow, we shall not come to loggerheads about that.

    Orley Farm

    Anthony Trollope
  • For the preceding twenty hours he had been at loggerheads with the crew.

    Ran Away to Sea Mayne Reid
British Dictionary definitions for loggerheads


Also called loggerhead turtle. a large-headed turtle, Caretta caretta, occurring in most seas: family Chelonidae
loggerhead shrike, a North American shrike, Lanius ludovicianus, having a grey head and body, black-and-white wings and tail, and black facial stripe
a tool consisting of a large metal sphere attached to a long handle, used for warming liquids, melting tar, etc
a strong round upright post in a whaleboat for belaying the line of a harpoon
(archaic or dialect) a blockhead; dunce
at loggerheads, engaged in dispute or confrontation
Derived Forms
loggerheaded, adjective
Word Origin
C16: probably from dialect logger wooden block + head
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 loggerheads



1580s, "stupid person, blockhead," perhaps from dialectal logger "heavy block of wood" + head (n.). Later it meant "a thick-headed iron tool" (1680s), a type of cannon shot, a type of turtle (1650s). Loggerheads "fighting, fisticuffs" is from 1670s, but the exact notion is uncertain, perhaps it suggests the heavy tools used as weapons. The phrase at loggerheads "in disagreement" is first recorded 1670s.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Idioms and Phrases with loggerheads


The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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