/ hed; NAmE / noun , verb
PART OF BODY
[ C ] the part of the body on top of the neck containing the eyes, nose, mouth and brain :
She nodded her head in agreement.
He shook his head in disbelief.
The boys hung their heads in shame.
The driver suffered head injuries.
She always has her head in a book (= is always reading) .
He still has a good head of hair (= a lot of hair) .
—picture at body
—see also death's head
[ C ] the mind or brain :
I sometimes wonder what goes on in that head of yours.
I wish you'd use your head (= think carefully before doing or saying sth) .
The thought never entered my head .
I can't work it out in my head —I need a calculator.
I can't get that tune out of my head .
When will you get it into your head (= understand) that I don't want to discuss this any more!
For some reason, she's got it into her head (= believes) that the others don't like her.
Who's been putting such weird ideas into your head (= making you believe that) ?
Try to put the exams out of your head (= stop thinking about them) for tonight.
—see also hothead
a head [ sing. ] the size of a person's or animal's head, used as a measurement of distance or height :
She's a good head taller than her sister.
The favourite won by a short head (= a distance slightly less than the length of a horse's head) .
[ C , usually sing. ] ( informal ) a continuous pain in your head
SYN headache :
I woke up with a really bad head this morning.
OF GROUP / ORGANIZATION
[ C , U ] the person in charge of a group of people or an organization :
the heads of government / state
She resigned as head of department .
the crowned heads (= the kings and queens) of Europe
the head gardener / waiter, etc.
( BrE )
the head boy / girl (= a student who is chosen to represent the school)
OF SCHOOL / COLLEGE
[ C ] (often Head ) ( BrE ) the person in charge of a school or college
SYN headmaster , headmistress , head teacher :
I've been called in to see the Head.
the deputy head
SIDE OF COIN
heads [ U ] the side of a coin that has a picture of the head of a person on it, used as one choice when a coin is tossed to decide sth
—compare tails noun (7)
END OF OBJECT
[ C , usually sing. ] head (of sth) the end of a long narrow object that is larger or wider than the rest of it :
the head of a nail
—picture at nail
—see also bedhead
[ sing. ] head of sth the top or highest part of sth :
at the head of the page
They finished the season at the head of their league.
[ sing. ] the ~ of the river the place where a river begins
[ sing. ] the ~ of the table the most important seat at a table :
The President sat at the head of the table.
OF LINE OF PEOPLE
[ sing. ] the ~ of sth the position at the front of a line of people :
The prince rode at the head of his regiment.
[ C ] head (of sth) the mass of leaves or flowers at the end of a stem :
Remove the dead heads to encourage new growth.
[ sing. ] the mass of small bubbles on the top of a glass of beer
[ C ] the part of a spot on your skin that contains a thick yellowish liquid (= pus )
—see also blackhead
IN TAPE / VIDEO RECORDER
[ C ] the part of a tape recorder or video recorder that touches the tape and changes the electrical signals into sounds and/or pictures
NUMBER OF ANIMALS
head of sth [ pl. ] used to say how many animals of a particular type are on a farm, in a herd , etc. :
200 head of sheep
a ~ of steam [ sing. ] the pressure produced by steam in a confined space
[ U ] ( taboo , slang ) oral sex (= using the mouth to give sb sexual pleasure) :
to give head
[ C ] the central part of a phrase, which has the same grammatical function as the whole phrase. In the phrase'the tall man in a suit', man is the head.
- a / per head
- bang / knock your / their heads together
- be banging, etc. your head against a brick wall
- be / stand head and shoulders above sb/sth
- bite / snap sb's head off
- bring sth to a head | come to a head
- bury / hide your head in the sand
- can't make head nor tail of sth
- do sb's head in
- do sth standing on your head
- from head to foot / toe
- get your head down
- get your head round sth
- give sb their head
- go head to head (with sb)
- go to your head
- have a good head on your shoulders
- have a head for sth
- have your head in the clouds
- have your head screwed on (the right way)
- head first
- head over heels in love
- heads or tails?
- heads will roll (for sth)
- hold your head high | hold up your head
- in over your head
- keep / get your head down
- keep your head | keep a clear / cool head
- keep your head above water
- laugh, scream, etc. your head off
- lose your head
- on your (own) head be it
- out of / off your head
- over sb's head
- put our / your / their heads together
- stand / turn sth on its head
- take it into your head to do sth
- take it into your head that ...
- turn sb's head
- two heads are better than one
—more at bear noun , block noun , bother verb , drum verb , eye noun , gun noun , hair , heart , hit verb , idea , knock verb , laugh verb , need verb , old , price noun , rear verb , ring verb , roof noun , scratch verb , thick adjective , top noun
[ v ] (also be headed especially in NAmE ) [+ adv. / prep. ] to move in a particular direction :
Where are we heading?
Where are you two headed?
Let's head back home.
She headed for the door.
( figurative )
Can you forecast where the economy is heading?
GROUP / ORGANIZATION
[ vn ] (also ˌhead sth ↔ ˈup ) to lead or be in charge of sth :
She has been appointed to head the research team.
LIST / LINE OF PEOPLE
[ vn ] to be at the top of a list of names or at the front of a line of people :
Italy heads the table after two games.
to head a march / procession
BE AT TOP
[ vn ] [ usually passive ] to put a word or words at the top of a page or section of a book as a title :
The chapter was headed 'My Early Life'.
[ vn ] to hit a football with your head :
Walsh headed the ball into an empty goal.
- be heading for sth
- head sb off
- head sth off
- head sth up
Old English hēafod , of Germanic origin; related to Dutch hoofd and German Haupt .