1. a person or thing that removes or puts a head on something.
  2. a reaping machine that cuts off and gathers only the heads of the grain.
  3. a chamber to which the ends of a number of tubes are connected so that water or steam may pass freely from one tube to the other.
  4. Automotive. an exhaust manifold.
  5. Building Trades.
    1. a brick or stone laid in a wall or the like so that its shorter ends are exposed or parallel to the surface.Compare stretcher(def 5).
    2. a framing member crossing and supporting the ends of joists, studs, or rafters so as to transfer their weight to parallel joists, studs, or rafters.
  6. Informal. a plunge or dive headfirst, as into water: He stumbled and took a header into the ditch.
  7. Soccer. a pass or shot made by heading the ball.
  8. a sign that is part of or attached to the top of a rack displaying merchandise.
  9. Computers. a line of information placed at the top of a page for purposes of identification.

Origin of header

First recorded in 1400–50, header is from the late Middle English word heder. See head, -er1
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for headers

Historical Examples of headers

British Dictionary definitions for headers


  1. Also called: header tank a reservoir, tank, or hopper that maintains a gravity feed or a static fluid pressure in an apparatus
  2. a manifold for distributing a fluid supply amongst a number of passages
  3. a machine that trims the heads from castings, forgings, etc, or one that forms heads, as in wire, to make nails
  4. a person who operates such a machine
  5. a brick or stone laid across a wall so that its end is flush with the outer surfaceCompare stretcher (def. 5)
  6. the action of striking a ball with the head
  7. informal a headlong fall or dive
  8. computing
    1. a block of data on a tape or disk providing information about the size, location, etc, of a file
    2. (as modifier)header card; header label
  9. dialect a mentally unbalanced person
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 headers



"head-first dive or plunge," 1849, from head (n.); as a type of pass or shot with the head in soccer, by 1906.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper