- any dense flower cluster or inflorescence.
- any other compact part of a plant, usually at the top of the stem, as that composed of leaves in the cabbage or lettuce, of leafstalks in the celery, or of flower buds in the cauliflower.
- a habitual user of a drug, especially LSD or marijuana (often used in combination): feds versus the heads; an acid-head; a pothead.
- a fan or devotee (usually used in combination): a punk-rock head; a chili head.
- the forepart of a vessel; bow.
- the upper edge of a quadrilateral sail.
- the upper corner of a jib-headed sail.
- that part of the upper end of one spar of a mast that is overlapped by a spar above; a doubling at the upper end of a spar.
- that part of the upper end of a mast between the highest standing rigging and the truck.
- crown(def 29).
- the member of an endocentric construction that belongs to the same form class and may play the same grammatical role as the construction itself.
- the member upon which another depends and to which it is subordinate. In former presidents, presidents is head and former is modifier.
- the vertical distance between two points in a liquid, as water, or some other fluid
- the pressure differential resulting from this separation, expressed in terms of the vertical distance between the points.
- the pressure of a fluid expressed in terms of the height of a column of liquid yielding an equivalent pressure.
- a mounting for a camera, as on a tripod.
- the part of an enlarger that contains the light source, negative carrier, lensboard, and lens.
verb (used with object)
verb (used without object)
- to suppurate, as a boil.
- to reach a crisis; culminate: The struggle for power came to a head.
- to make someone dizzy or drunk; overcome one with excitement: Power went to his head. The brandy went to his head.
- to make someone conceited or self-important: Success went to his head.
- far better, more qualified, etc.; superior: In intelligence, he was head and shoulders above the rest of the children in the class.
- Archaic.by force.
- headlong, as in a somersault: He tripped and fell head over heels into the gully.
- intensely; completely: head over heels in love.
- impulsively; carelessly: They plunged head over heels into the fighting.
- insane; crazy.
- Informal.delirious; irrational: You're out of your head if you accept those terms.
- beyond one's comprehension, ability, or resources: The classical allusion went right over his head.
- beyond one's financial resources or ability to pay: He's lost over his head in that poker game.
- to cause someone to become smug or conceited: Her recent success has completely turned her head.
- to cause one to become foolish or confused: A whirlwind romance has quite turned his head.
Origin of head
Synonyms for head
Antonyms for head
- the person commanding most authority within a group, organization, etc
- (as modifier)head buyer
- (in combination)headmaster
- the most forward part of a thing; a part that juts out; frontthe head of a queue
- (as modifier)head point
- a dense inflorescence such as that of the daisy and other composite plants
- any other compact terminal part of a plant, such as the leaves of a cabbage or lettuce
- the front part of a ship or boat
- (in sailing ships) the upper corner or edge of a sail
- the top of any spar or derrick
- any vertical timber cut to shape
- (often plural) a slang word for lavatory
- the height of the surface of liquid above a specific point, esp when considered or used as a measure of the pressure at that pointa head of four feet
- pressure of water, caused by height or velocity, measured in terms of a vertical column of water
- any pressurea head of steam in the boiler
- a person who regularly takes drugs, esp LSD or cannabis
- (in combination)an acidhead; a pothead
- the terminal point of a route
- (in combination)railhead
- the head of a horse considered as a narrow margin in the outcome of a race (in the phrase win by a head)
- any narrow margin of victory (in the phrase (win) by a head)
- to bring or be brought to a crisismatters came to a head
- (of a boil) to cause to be or be about to burst
- to make one dizzy or confused, as might an alcoholic drink
- to make one conceitedhis success has gone to his head
- turning a complete somersault
- completely; utterly (esp in the phrase head over heels in love)
- without a person in the obvious position being considered, esp for promotionthe graduate was promoted over the heads of several of his seniors
- without consulting a person in the obvious position but referring to a higher authorityin making his complaint he went straight to the director, over the head of his immediate boss
- beyond a person's comprehension
Word Origin for head
"most important, principal, leading," c.1200, from head (n.). Old English heafod was used in this sense in compounds.
Old English heafod "top of the body," also "upper end of a slope," also "chief person, leader, ruler; capital city," from Proto-Germanic *haubudam (cf. Old Saxon hobid, Old Norse hofuð, Old Frisian haved, Middle Dutch hovet, Dutch hoofd, Old High German houbit, German Haupt, Gothic haubiþ "head"), from PIE *kaput- "head" (cf. Sanskrit kaput-, Latin caput "head").
Modern spelling is early 15c., representing what was then a long vowel (as in heat) and remained after pronunciation shifted. Of rounded tops of plants from late 14c. Meaning "origin of a river" is mid-14c. Meaning "obverse of a coin" is from 1680s; meaning "foam on a mug of beer" is first attested 1540s; meaning "toilet" is from 1748, based on location of crew toilet in the bow (or head) of a ship. Synechdochic use for "person" (as in head count) is first attested late 13c.; of cattle, etc., in this sense from 1510s. As a height measure of persons, from c.1300. Meaning "drug addict" (usually in a compound with the preferred drug as the first element) is from 1911.
To give head "perform fellatio" is from 1950s. Phrase heads will roll "people will be punished" (1930) translates Adolf Hitler. Head case "eccentric or insane person" is from 1979. Head game "mental manipulation" attested by 1972. To have (one's) head up (one's) ass is attested by 1978.
rear its ugly head
Appear. This phrase is used only of something undesirable or unpleasant, as in The interview went very well until a question about his academic record reared its ugly head. This expression was first recorded in slightly different form in Anthony Trollope's Barchester Towers (1857): “Rebellion had already reared her hideous head.”
In addition to the idioms beginning with head
- head above water, keep one's
- head and shoulders above
- head for
- head in the clouds, have one's
- head in the sand
- head off
- head on
- head or tail
- head out
- head over heels
- heads or tails
- head start
- heads up
- heads will roll
- head up
- beat into someone's head
- beat one's head against the wall
- big head
- bite someone's head off
- bring to a head
- can't make head or tail of
- count noses (heads)
- do blindfolded (standing on one's head)
- enter one's mind (head)
- eyes in the back of one's head
- from head to toe
- get into one's head
- get one's head examined
- get through one's head
- give someone his or her head
- good head on one's shoulders
- go to one's head
- hang one's head
- hang over (one's head)
- have a head for
- have a screw loose (head screwed on right)
- hide one's head
- hide one's head in the sand
- hit the nail on the head
- hold a gun to someone's head
- hold one's head high
- in over one's head
- keep one's head
- laugh one's head off
- like a chicken with its head cut off
- lose one's head
- make one's head spin
- need like a hole in the head
- not right in the head
- off one's head
- off the top of one's head
- on one's head
- on the block (put one's head)
- over one's head
- price on one's head
- put ideas in someone's head
- put our heads together
- rear its ugly head
- rocks in one's head
- roof over one's head
- scratch one's head
- shake one's head
- soft in the head
- swelled head
- talk someone's arm (head) off
- throw oneself (at someone's head)
- touched in the head
- trouble one's head
- turn one's head
- upside the head
- use one's head