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loggerhead

[law-ger-hed, log-er-]
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noun
  1. a thick-headed or stupid person; blockhead.
  2. loggerhead turtle.
  3. loggerhead shrike.
  4. a ball or bulb of iron with a long handle, used, after being heated, to melt tar, heat liquids, etc.
  5. a rounded post, in the stern of a whaleboat, around which the harpoon line is passed.
  6. a circular inkwell having a broad, flat base.
Idioms
  1. 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 formslog·ger·head·ed, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for loggerheads

loggerhead

noun
  1. Also called: loggerhead turtle a large-headed turtle, Caretta caretta, occurring in most seas: family Chelonidae
  2. loggerhead shrike a North American shrike, Lanius ludovicianus, having a grey head and body, black-and-white wings and tail, and black facial stripe
  3. a tool consisting of a large metal sphere attached to a long handle, used for warming liquids, melting tar, etc
  4. a strong round upright post in a whaleboat for belaying the line of a harpoon
  5. archaic, or dialect a blockhead; dunce
  6. at loggerheads engaged in dispute or confrontation
Derived Formsloggerheaded, 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

Word Origin and History for loggerheads

loggerhead

n.

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

Idioms and Phrases with loggerheads

loggerheads

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