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See more synonyms for headlight on Thesaurus.com
  1. a light or lamp, usually equipped with a reflector, on the front of an automobile, locomotive, etc.
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Origin of headlight

An Americanism dating back to 1860–65; head + light1
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words


Examples from the Web for headlight

Historical Examples

  • My eyes were dazzled by a headlight that one of them carried.

    Old Man Savarin and Other Stories

    Edward William Thomson

  • The glass in the headlight of one of the cars tinkled to the ground.

  • The glare of the headlight fascinated, challenged, angered him.

    Days Off

    Henry Van Dyke

  • It was from the headlight of a locomotive that we couldn't see yet.

    Roy Blakeley's Camp on Wheels

    Percy Keese Fitzhugh

  • It was pretty bright in our car on account of the headlight from the engine.

    Roy Blakeley's Camp on Wheels

    Percy Keese Fitzhugh

British Dictionary definitions for headlight



  1. a powerful light, equipped with a reflector and attached to the front of a motor vehicle, locomotive, etcSee also quartz-iodine lamp
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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 headlight


1861, originally of ships and locomotives, from head (n.) + light (n.). Related: Headlights, which, as slang for "a woman's breasts," is from 1940s.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper