head start

or headstart

See synonyms for head start on Thesaurus.com
noun
  1. an advantage given or acquired in any competition, endeavor, etc., as allowing one or more competitors in a race to start before the others.

Origin of head start

1
First recorded in 1885–90

Words Nearby head start

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

How to use head start in a sentence

  • “They (NRA) had a hundred-year head start, so this is going to take a bit of time,” says Kelly.

  • With the corner of his eye Aldo had seen Mrs. Van Osten's small head start up like a disturbed snake at the end of the table.

    The Devourers | Annie Vivanti Chartres
  • With Martha to guide him through the night and the witch-girl's power disabled, they'd get a day's head start.

    The Syndic | C.M. Kornbluth
  • If we get a good head-start, they don't have anything based here that'll catch up with it.

    The Syndic | C.M. Kornbluth
  • In a few minutes the train came whistling around the bend at full speed, trying for a head start up the hill.

    Ticktock and Jim | Keith Robertson
  • Around and around they would whirl in a spiral nebula, till one got a head start on a race for home and mother.

    Unexplored! | Allen Chaffee

British Dictionary definitions for head start

head start

noun
  1. an initial advantage in a competitive situation

Origin of head start

1
originally referring to a horse's having its head in front of others at the start of a race

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

Other Idioms and Phrases with head start

head start

An early start that confers an advantage, as in This year we'll get a head start on the competition by running more ads. The expression comes from racing, where it was used for a horse being given an advantage of several lengths over the others. Its extension to other areas dates from the early 1900s.

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