[ hed-rahyt ]

  1. Law. a beneficial interest for each member of an Indian tribe in the tribal trust fund accruing from the lease of tribal oil, gas, and mineral rights, the sale of tribal lands, etc.

  2. American History. a grant of land, usually 50 acres to a settler, given by certain colonies and companies in the 17th and 18th centuries.

Origin of headright

An Americanism dating back to 1695–1705; head + right

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2024

How to use headright in a sentence

  • This land arrangement, called the "Head-Right" system, formed the basis of the Virginia land system.

  • When he had got his car's head right, Sam Stay shut off his engine, descended from his seat, and opened the door.

    The Daffodil Mystery | Edgar Wallace
  • One day a polar bear came to the hut and thrust his head right through the window.

    A Treasury of Eskimo Tales | Clara Kern Bayliss
  • The first on the gospel-side was Pcuchet; but, too much moved, no doubt, he kept swaying his head right and left.

    Bouvard and Pcuchet, part 2 | Gustave Flaubert
  • He would rally himself, and try to set his head right with another glass.

    Doctor Grimshawe's Secret | Nathaniel Hawthorne