or head room

[hed-room, -roo m]
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  1. Nautical. the clear space between two decks.
  2. Also called headway.
    1. clear vertical space, as between the head and sill of a doorway, the ceiling and floor of a room, or the ceiling of a vehicular passageway and a vehicle roof, as to allow passage or comfortable occupancy: over 7.5 feet of headroom in the attic; a covered bridge with limited headroom.
    2. clear vertical space above one’s head, as in a vehicle or room: plenty of headroom for passengers.
  3. Audio. dynamic headroom.

Origin of headroom

First recorded in 1850–55; head + room
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for headroom



  1. the height of a bridge, room, etc; clearance
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 headroom

"space above the head," 1851, from head (n.) + room (n.).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper