heed

[ heed ]
/ hid /

verb (used with object)

to give careful attention to: He did not heed the warning.

verb (used without object)

to give attention; have regard.

noun

careful attention; notice; observation (usually with give or take).

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Origin of heed

before 900; Middle English heden,Old English hēdan; cognate with German hüten to guard, protect; akin to hood1

OTHER WORDS FROM heed

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020

VOCAB BUILDER

What does heed mean?

To heed something is to listen to it, pay careful attention to it, or otherwise observe or acknowledge it in some way—and often to take action on it.

To heed a warning is to listen to it and do what it says to do (or not do what it says not to do). To heed a request is honor it—to do what is requested. To heed calls for reform is to acknowledge them, and, sometimes, to actually follow through and make reforms.

Heed can also be used as a noun meaning careful attention or observation. It’s most often used in the phrases take heed, give heed, and pay heed, which all mean to listen or pay attention, as in Take heed to what he says, for he is very wise. To pay no heed to someone is to disregard or ignore them.

The adjective unheeded means disregarded, despite having been heard or noted. An unheeded warning is one that has been ignored.

Example: I should have heeded your warnings, but instead I ignored them.

Where does heed come from?

The first records of the word heed come from before 900. It comes from the Old English word hēdan, which is related to the German hüten, meaning “to guard” or “to protect.”

Today, heed can sometimes sound old-fashioned, and terms like pay attention to or listen to are more commonly used. But heed packs a lot of meaning into just four letters, since it usually means “pay attention to and then act on.” Perhaps because of this and how short it is, heed is often used in news headlines, as in Governor heeds calls for tax reform or Residents urged to heed evacuation order.

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What are some other forms related to heed?

  • heeder (noun)
  • heedful (adjective)
  • heedfulness (noun)

What are some synonyms for heed?

What are some words that share a root or word element with heed

 

 

What are some words that often get used in discussing heed?

How is heed used in real life?

Heed is especially used in the context of warnings, advice, requests, and calls for some kind of action.

 

 

Try using heed!

Which of the following terms is NOT a synonym of heed?

A. disregard
B. listen to
C. note
D. pay attention to

Example sentences from the Web for heed

British Dictionary definitions for heed

heed
/ (hiːd) /

noun

close and careful attention; notice (often in the phrases give, pay, or take heed)

verb

to pay close attention to (someone or something)

Derived forms of heed

heeder, nounheedful, adjectiveheedfully, adverbheedfulness, noun

Word Origin for heed

Old English hēdan; related to Old Saxon hōdian, Old High German huoten
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