Meaning of HEAD in English

transcription, транскрипция: [ hed ]

( heads, heading, headed)

Frequency: The word is one of the 700 most common words in English.

Note: 'Head' is used in a large number of expressions which are explained under other words in the dictionary. For example, the expression ‘off the top of your head’ is explained at ‘top’.


Your head is the top part of your body, which has your eyes, mouth, and brain in it.

She turned her head away from him...



You can use head to refer to your mind and your mental abilities.

...an exceptional analyst who could do complex maths in his head.



The head of a line of people or vehicles is the front of it, or the first person or vehicle in the line.

...the head of the queue...

N-SING : with supp


If someone or something heads a line or procession, they are at the front of it.

The parson, heading the procession, had just turned right towards the churchyard.

VERB : V n


If something heads a list or group, it is at the top of it.

Running a business heads the list of ambitions among the 1,000 people interviewed by Good Housekeeping magazine.

VERB : V n


The head of something is the highest or top part of it.

...the head of the stairs...

Every day a different name was placed at the head of the chart.

= top

N-SING : usu N of n


The head of something long and thin is the end which is wider than or a different shape from the rest, and which is often considered to be the most important part.

Keep the head of the club the same height throughout the swing.

N-COUNT : usu with supp


The head of a school is the teacher who is in charge. ( mainly BRIT )

= head teacher



The head of a company or organization is the person in charge of it and in charge of the people in it.

Heads of government from more than 100 countries gather in Geneva tomorrow.

...the head waiter.

N-COUNT : with supp


If you head a department, company, or organization, you are the person in charge of it.

...Michael Williams, who heads the department’s Office of Civil Rights.

...the ruling Socialist Party, headed by Dr Franz Vranitzky.

VERB : V n , V-ed


The head on a glass of beer is the layer of small bubbles that form on the top of the beer.

N-COUNT : usu sing


If you have a bad head , you have a headache. ( BRIT INFORMAL )

I had a terrible head and was extraordinarily drunk.

N-COUNT : usu sing , with supp


If you toss a coin and it comes down heads , you can see the side of the coin which has a picture of a head on it.

‘We might toss up for it,’ suggested Ted. ‘If it’s heads, then we’ll talk.’...

Heads or tails?

ADV : be ADV , ADV after v


If you are heading for a particular place, you are going towards that place. In American English, you can also say that you are headed for a particular place.

He headed for the bus stop...

It is not clear how many of them will be heading back to Saudi Arabia tomorrow...

She and her child boarded a plane headed to where her family lived...

VERB : V for n , V adv / prep , V-ed


If something or someone is heading for a particular result, the situation they are in is developing in a way that makes that result very likely. In American English, you can also say that something or someone is headed for a particular result.

The latest talks aimed at ending the civil war appear to be heading for deadlock...

The centuries-old ritual seems headed for extinction.

VERB : V for/towards n , V-ed


If a piece of writing is headed a particular title, it has that title written at the beginning of it.

One chapter is headed, ‘Beating the Test’.

VERB : usu passive , be V-ed quote


If you head a ball in football, you hit it with your head in order to make it go in a particular direction.

He headed the ball across the face of the goal.

VERB : V n prep / adv


see also heading


You use a head or per head after stating a cost or amount in order to indicate that that cost or amount is for each person in a particular group.

This simple chicken dish costs less than £1 a head...

PHRASE : amount PHR


From head to foot means all over your body.

Colin had been put into a bath and been scrubbed from head to foot.

PHRASE : oft be V-ed PHR [ emphasis ]


If you a have a head for something, you can deal with it easily. For example, if you have a head for figures , you can do arithmetic easily, and if you have a head for heights , you can climb to a great height without feeling afraid.

I don’t have a head for business.

PHRASE : have/with PHR , PHR n


If you get a fact or idea into your head , you suddenly realize or think that it is true and you usually do not change your opinion about it.

Once they get an idea into their heads, they never give up.

PHRASE : V and N inflect


If you say that someone has got something into their head , you mean that they have finally understood or accepted it, and you are usually criticizing them because it has taken them a long time to do this.

Managers have at last got it into their heads that they can no longer accept inefficient operations.

PHRASE : V and N inflect


If alcoholic drink goes to your head , it makes you feel drunk.

That wine was strong, it went to your head.

PHRASE : V and N inflect


If you say that something such as praise or success goes to someone’s head , you are criticizing them because you think that it makes them too proud or confident.

Ford is definitely not a man to let a little success go to his head.

PHRASE : V and N inflect [ disapproval ]


If you are head over heels or head over heels in love , you are very much in love.

PHRASE : v PHR , v-link PHR


If you keep your head , you remain calm in a difficult situation. If you lose your head , you panic or do not remain calm in a difficult situation.

She was able to keep her head and not panic...

She lost her head and started screaming at me.

PHRASE : V and N inflect


If you knock something on the head , you stop it. ( BRIT INFORMAL )

When we stop enjoying ourselves we’ll knock it on the head.

PHRASE : V inflects


Phrases such as laugh your head off and scream your head off can be used to emphasize that someone is laughing or screaming a lot or very loudly.

He carried on telling a joke, laughing his head off.

PHRASE : N inflects [ emphasis ]


If you say that someone is off their head , you think that their ideas or behaviour are very strange, foolish, or dangerous. ( mainly BRIT INFORMAL )

He’s gone completely off his head.

PHRASE : N inflects , usu v-link PHR [ disapproval ]


If you stand an idea or argument on its head or turn it on its head , you think about it or treat it in a completely new and different way.

Their relationship turned the standard notion of marriage on its head.

PHRASE : V inflects


If something such as an idea, joke, or comment goes over someone’s head , it is too difficult for them to understand.

I admit that a lot of the ideas went way over my head.

PHRASE : v-link PHR , PHR after v


If someone does something over another person’s head , they do it without asking them or discussing it with them, especially when they should do so because the other person is in a position of authority.

He was reprimanded for trying to go over the heads of senior officers.

PHRASE : v-link PHR , PHR after v


If you say that something unpleasant or embarrassing rears its ugly head or raises its ugly head , you mean that it occurs, often after not occurring for some time.

There was a problem which reared its ugly head about a week after she moved back in...

PHRASE : V inflects


If you stand on your head , you balance upside down with the top of your head and your hands on the ground.

PHRASE : V and N inflect


If you say that you cannot make head nor tail of something or you cannot make head or tail of it, you are emphasizing that you cannot understand it at all. ( INFORMAL )

I couldn’t make head nor tail of the damn film.

PHRASE : usu with brd-neg , V inflects , PHR n


If somebody takes it into their head to do something, especially something strange or foolish, they suddenly decide to do it.

He suddenly took it into his head to go out to Australia to stay with his son.

PHRASE : V and N inflect , usu PHR to-inf


If a problem or disagreement comes to a head or is brought to a head , it becomes so bad that something must be done about it.

These problems came to a head in September when five of the station’s journalists were sacked.

PHRASE : V inflects


If two or more people put their heads together , they talk about a problem they have and try to solve it.

So everyone put their heads together and eventually an amicable arrangement was reached.

PHRASE : V inflects


If you keep your head above water , you just avoid getting into difficulties; used especially to talk about business.

We are keeping our head above water, but our cash flow position is not too good.

PHRASE : V inflects


If you say that heads will roll as a result of something bad that has happened, you mean that people will be punished for it, especially by losing their jobs.

The group’s problems have led to speculation that heads will roll.

PHRASE : V inflects

Collins COBUILD Advanced Learner's English Dictionary.      Английский словарь Коллинз COBUILD для изучающих язык на продвинутом уровне.