[ hawgz-hed, hogz- ]
/ ˈhɔgzˌhɛd, ˈhɒgz- /


a large cask, especially one containing from 63 to 140 gallons (238 to 530 liters).
any of various units of liquid measure, especially one equivalent to 63 gallons (238 liters). Abbreviation: hhd


Nearby words

  1. hogmolly,
  2. hognose snake,
  3. hognosed skunk,
  4. hognut,
  5. hogpen,
  6. hogtie,
  7. hogtown,
  8. hogue,
  9. hogue, la,
  10. hogwash

Origin of hogshead

1350–1400; Middle English hoggeshed, literally, hog's head; unexplained

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for hogshead

British Dictionary definitions for hogshead


/ (ˈhɒɡzˌhɛd) /


a unit of capacity, used esp for alcoholic beverages. It has several values, being 54 imperial gallons in the case of beer and 52.5 imperial gallons in the case of wine
a large cask used for shipment of wines and spirits

Word Origin for hogshead

C14: of obscure origin

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 hogshead



"large cask or barrel," late 14c., presumably on some perceived resemblance. The original liquid measure was 63 old wine gallons (by a statute of 1423); later anywhere from 100 to 140 gallons. Borrowed into other Germanic languages, oddly, as ox-head (cf. Dutch okshoofd, German oxhoft, Swedish oxhufvud).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper