a performer whose name appears most prominently in a program or advertisement or on a marquee; star.

Origin of headliner

First recorded in 1890–95; headline + -er1
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for headliner

Contemporary Examples of headliner

Historical Examples of headliner

  • They called Eric from private life to be headliner in their vaudeville.

    In a Little Town

    Rupert Hughes

  • He was only nineteen when he joined the club and was a headliner from the start.

    Pitching in a Pinch

    Christy Mathewson

  • Eight meetings announced him as headliner, with Cooper Union as the climax.

    The Dual Alliance

    Marjorie Benton Cooke

  • Why must the headliner always be a talking or a singing person who tells you how much money he needs, or how much she is getting?

    Adventures in the Arts

    Marsden Hartley

  • The chills were running up and down my spine in our cold apartment, but this headliner froze me stiff.

    Germany in War Time

    Mary Ethel McAuley

British Dictionary definitions for headliner



a performer given prominent billing; star
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 headliner

1891, "one who writes newspaper headlines;" 1896 as "one who stars in a performance;" from headline + -er (1).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper