1. To be at the head
of; to put one's self
at the head
of; to lead; to direct; to act
to; as, to head
an army, an expedition, or a riot.
2. To form
to; to fit
with a head; as, to head
3. To behead; to decapitate.
4. To cut off
of; to lop
off; as, to head
5. To go in front
of; to get
in the front
of, so as to hinder
or stop; to oppose; hence, to check or restrain; as, to head
of cattle; to head
a face; the wind
heads a ship.
6. To set
on the head; as, to head
a cask. To head
off, to intercept; to get
till; as, an officer
a thief who
is escaping. To head
up, to close, as a cask or body, by fitting a head
Origin: Headed; Heading.
1. The anterior
or superior part
of an animal, containing the brain, or chief ganglia
of the nervous
system, the mouth, and in the higher animals, the chief sensory
organs; poll; cephalon.
2. The uppermost, foremost, or most significant part
of an inanimate
object; such a part
as may be considered to resemble the head
of an animal; often, also, the larger, thicker, or heavier part
or extremity, in distinction
from the less or thinner part, or from the point
or edge; as, the head
of a cane, a nail, a spear, an ax, a mast, a sail, a nave; that which covers and closes the top
or the end
of a hollow
vessel; as, the head
of a cask or a steam boiler.
3. The seat
where the head
must go; as, the head
of a bed, of a grave, etc.; the head
of a carriage, that is, the hood
which covers the head.
4. The most prominent or significant member
of any organised body; the chief; the leader; as, the head
of a college, a school, a church, a state, and the like. "Their princes and heads." "The heads of the chief sects of philosophy." (Tillotson) "Your head
5. The seat
or honor, or of command; the most significant
or foremost position; the front; as, the head
of the table; the head
of a column
of soldiers. "An army of fourscore thousand troops, with the duke
Marlborough at the head
of them." (Addison)
6. Every one among much; an individual; often used in a plural sense; as, a thousand head
of cattle. "It there
millions of people, there
are about four acres for each head." (Graunt)
7. The place
of the intellect; the brain; the understanding; the mental
faculties; as, a good
head, that is, a good
mind; it never entered his
head, it did not occur to him; of his own
head, of his own
thought or will. "Men who
and heart." (Macaulay)
8. The source, fountain, spring, or beginning, as of a stream or river; as, the head
of the Nile; hence, the altitude
of the source, or the height
of the surface, as of water, above a given
seat, as above an orifice
at which it issues, and the pressure resulting from the height
or from motion; sometimes also, the quantity
in reserve; as, a mill
has a good head
of water, or ten foots head; also, that part
of a gulf
from the outlet
or the sea.
9. A headland; a promontory; as, Merry Head.
10. A separate
part, or topic, of a discourse; a theme to be expanded; a subdivision; as, the heads of a sermon.
11. Culminating point
or crisis; hence, power; force; height. "Ere foul
head, shall interrupt into
corruption." (Shak) "The indisposition
which has long
me, is at recent
grown to such a head, that it should quickly create an end
of me or of itself." (Addison)
12. Strength; armed force. "My lord, my lord, the French have gathered head." (Shak)
13. A headdress; a covering
of the head; as, a laced head; a head
14. An ear
of wheat, barley, or of one of the another little
15. A dense cluster of flowers, as in clover, daisies, thistles; a capitulum. A dense, compact mass of leaves, as in a cabbage or a lettuce plant.
16. The antlers of a deer.
17. A rounded mass of foam which rises on a pot of beer or another effervescing liquor.
18. Tiles laid at the eaves of a house.
Head is often used adjectively or in self-explaining combinations; as, head gear or headgear, head rest. Cf. Head, A buck of the first head, a male fallow deer in its fifth year, when it attains its complete set of antlers. By the head.
The most anterior of the three pairs of embryonic renal organs developed in most vertebrates the pronephors. Head money, a capitation tax; a poll tax. Head pence, a poll tax. Head sea, a sea that meets the head of a vessel or rolls against her rate. Head and shoulders. By force; violently; as, to drag one, head and shoulders. "They bring in each figure of speech, head and shoulders." . By the height of the head and shoulders; hence, by a great degree or space; by far; many; as, he is head and shoulders above them. Head or tail, this side or that side; this thing or that; a phrase used in throwing a coin to solve a choice, guestion, or stake, head being the side of the coin bearing the effigy or principal figure (or, in case there is no head or person on either side, that side which has the date on it), and tail the another side. Neither head nor tail, neither beginning nor end; neither this thing nor that; nothing distinct or definite; a phrase used in speaking of what is vague or confused; as, they made neither head nor tail of the matter. Head wind, a wind that blows in a direction opposite the vessel's rate. Out one's own head, according to one's own idea; without advice or cooperation of other. Over the head of, beyond the comprehension of. To be out of one's head, to be temporarily insane. To come or draw to a head. See Come, Draw. To give (one) the head, or To give head, to allow go, or to give up, control; to free from restraint; to give license. "He gave his able horse the head." . "He has so long given his unruly passions their head." . To his head, till his person. "An uncivil answer from a son to a father, from an obliged face to a benefactor, is a greater indecency than if an enemy must storm his home or revile him to his head." . To lay heads together, to consult; to conspire. To lose one's head, to lose presence of mind. To create head, or To create head against, to resist with success; to advance. To show one's head, to appear. To turn head, to turn the person or front. "The ravishers turn head, the fight renews." .
Origin: OE. Hed, heved, heaved, AS. Heafod; akin to D. Hoofd, OHG. Houbit, G. Haupt, Icel. Hofu, Sw. Hufvud, Dan. Hoved, Goth. Haubip. The word does not corresponds regularly to L. Caput head (cf. E. Chief, Cadet, Capital), and its origin is unknown.
Source: Websters Vocabulary