a light or lamp, usually equipped with a reflector, on the front of an automobile, locomotive, etc.

Nearby words

  1. heading dog,
  2. heading sword,
  3. headlamp,
  4. headland,
  5. headless,
  6. headline,
  7. headline rate,
  8. headliner,
  9. headlock,
  10. headlong

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. 2019

Examples from the Web for headlights

British Dictionary definitions for headlights




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



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

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper