• synonyms


[hed-on, -awn]
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  1. (of two objects) meeting with the fronts or heads foremost: a head-on collision.
  2. facing the direction of forward motion or alignment; frontal.
  3. characterized by direct opposition: a head-on confrontation.
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  1. with the front or head foremost, especially in a collision: She stepped out of the front door and walked head-on into her husband.
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Origin of head-on

An Americanism dating back to 1830–40
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for head on

personal, immediate, smack, prompt, lineal, succeeding, straight, dilapidation, bump, slam, rap, pileup, crash, thud, impact, wreck, concussion, jar, jolt, percussion

British Dictionary definitions for head on


adverb, adjective
  1. with the front or fronts foremosta head-on collision
  2. with directness or without compromisein his usual head-on fashion
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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 head on



1840, from head (n.) + on.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Idioms and Phrases with head on

head on


With the face or front first, as in The two bicycles collided head on. [Early 1800s]

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In direct conflict, in open opposition, as in They decided to meet the opposition head on.

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