deadhead

[ded-hed]Informal.
noun
  1. a person who attends a performance, sports event, etc., or travels on a train, airplane, etc., without having paid for a ticket, especially a person using a complimentary ticket or free pass.
  2. a train, railroad car, airplane, truck, or other commercial vehicle while operating empty, as when returning to a terminal.
  3. a stupid or boring person; dullard.
  4. Metallurgy. excess metal in the riser of a mold.
  5. a sunken or partially sunken log.
verb (used with object)
  1. to transport (someone) as a deadhead.
  2. to move (an empty commercial vehicle) along a route.
  3. Horticulture. to remove faded blooms from (ornamental plants), especially in flower gardens, often to help continued blooming.
verb (used without object)
  1. to act or serve as a deadhead.
  2. (of a commercial vehicle) to travel without cargo or paying passengers: The train carried coal to Pittsburgh and then deadheaded back to Virginia to pick up another load.

Origin of deadhead

First recorded in 1570–80; dead + head
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for dead-headed

Historical Examples of dead-headed


British Dictionary definitions for dead-headed

deadhead

noun
  1. a dull unenterprising person
  2. a person who uses a free ticket, as for a train, the theatre, etc
  3. US and Canadian a train, etc, travelling empty
  4. US and Canadian a totally or partially submerged log floating in a lake, etc
verb
  1. (tr) to cut off withered flowers from (a plant)
  2. (intr) US and Canadian to drive an empty bus, train, etc
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 dead-headed

Deadhead

n.

by 1974 in sense of "devotee of the rock music band the Grateful Dead;" earlier (with lower-case) "one who rides for free on the railroads" (1866), and "non-paying spectator" (1841).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper