• synonyms


[hed-lawng, -long]
See more synonyms for headlong on Thesaurus.com
  1. with the head foremost; headfirst: to plunge headlong into the water.
  2. without delay; hastily: to plunge headlong into work.
  3. without deliberation; rashly: to rush headlong into battle.
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  1. undertaken quickly and suddenly; made precipitately; hasty: a headlong flight.
  2. rash; impetuous: a headlong denunciation.
  3. done or going with the head foremost: a headlong dive into the pool.
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Origin of headlong

1350–1400; Middle English hedlong, earlier hedling. See head, -ling2
Related formshead·long·ness, noun
Can be confusedheadlong headstrong
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for headlong

breakneck, sudden, hurried, abrupt, brash, daredevil, daring, foolhardy, hasty, impetuous, impulsive, inconsiderate, precipitate, rash, rough, rushing, tempestuous, thoughtless, precipitant

Examples from the Web for headlong

Contemporary Examples of headlong

Historical Examples of headlong

  • Then she tossed the dress on the bed and started in a headlong rush to the kitchen.

    Her Father's Daughter

    Gene Stratton-Porter

  • Crossing over to his desk with headlong strides, he sat down violently.

    The Secret Agent

    Joseph Conrad

  • Uncas abandoned his rifle, and leaped forward with headlong precipitation.

    The Last of the Mohicans

    James Fenimore Cooper

  • There Prince Rupert charged with headlong fury, carrying all before him.

    English Villages

    P. H. Ditchfield

  • Then up the road came riding some of the King's men at headlong speed.

British Dictionary definitions for headlong


adverb, adjective
  1. with the head foremost; headfirst
  2. with great haste
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  1. archaic (of slopes, etc) very steep; precipitous
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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 headlong


late 14c., in phrase by headlong, from hed "head" (see head (n.)) + adverbial suffix -ling. Altered by folk etymology on pattern of sidelong, etc.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper