[ hed-kwawr-terz, -kwaw- ]
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noun,plural head·quar·ters.(used with a singular or plural verb)
  1. a center of operations, as of the police or a business, from which orders are issued; the chief administrative office of an organization: The operatives were always in touch with headquarters.

  2. the offices or working location of a military commander; the place from which a commander customarily issues orders.

  1. a military unit consisting of the commander, his staff, and other assistants.

Origin of headquarters

First recorded in 1640–50; head + quarters

Other words from headquarters

  • sub·head·quar·ters, noun, plural sub·head·quar·ters.

Words Nearby headquarters

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use headquarters in a sentence

  • With each division, in addition to the divisional staff, there were officers detached from the headquarters staff.

    Napoleon's Marshals | R. P. Dunn-Pattison
  • Bidding a young bank manager take charge of the detachment, Frank led the newcomer rapidly to headquarters.

    The Red Year | Louis Tracy
  • It was eleven o'clock before the river was crossed and the headquarters of Colonel Guitar reached.

  • Again visited headquarters 29th Division, and afterwards walked through the trenches of the 87th Brigade.

  • You can probably realize just how headquarters would take the sort of yarn we'd spin if we dashed in and told them the truth.

    Raw Gold | Bertrand W. Sinclair

British Dictionary definitions for headquarters


/ (ˌhɛdˈkwɔːtəz) /

pl n(sometimes functioning as singular)
  1. any centre or building from which operations are directed, as in the military, the police, etc

  2. a military formation comprising the commander, his staff, and supporting echelons

  • Abbreviations: HQ, h.q.

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