- (among certain primitive peoples) the practice of hunting down and decapitating victims and preserving their heads as trophies.
- the act or practice of actively searching for new employees, especially for professionals or executives: Every June the electronics manufacturers go headhunting among the newly graduated engineers.
- the act or practice of firing without cause, especially someone disliked: Their periodic headhunting was a contributing factor in the company's failures.
- the act or practice of trying to destroy the power, position, or influence of one's competitors or foes: Headhunting is ferocious in advertising.
Origin of headhunting
- a headhunting expedition: The men left the village to go on a headhunt.
- to engage in headhunting.
Origin of headhunt
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for head-hunting
In 1896 there were about 100,000 head-hunting Igorrotes in the Benguet district.The Philippine Islands
At this time the atrocious custom of head-hunting prevailed in the island.Four Young Explorers
From all that I could learn, head-hunting is a sport, like fox-hunting in England.Where the Strange Trails Go Down
E. Alexander Powell
The practice of head-hunting was also dealt with by James Brooke.Children of Borneo
Edwin Herbert Gomes
He is a black Napoleon, a head-hunting, man-eating Talleyrand.A Son Of The Sun
- the practice among certain peoples of removing the heads of slain enemies and preserving them as trophies
- the recruitment, esp through an agency, of executives from one company to another, often rival, company
- US slang the destruction or neutralization of political opponents
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