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head / hed/ • n. 1. the upper part of the human body, or the front or upper part of the body of an animal, typically separated from the rest of the body by a neck, and containing the brain, mouth, and sense organs. ∎  the head regarded as the location of intellect, imagination, and memory: whatever comes into my head. ∎  (head for) an aptitude for or tolerance of: she had a good head for business. ∎ inf. a headache, esp. one resulting from intoxication. ∎  the height or length of a head as a measure: a dazzling woman half a head taller than he was. ∎  [usu. in comb.] a habitual user of an illicit drug: a large group of young adults and potheads. ∎  [usu. in comb.] a fan or enthusiast: a producer known for his work with metalheads and rappers. ∎  (heads) the obverse side of a coin (used when tossing a coin): heads or tails? ∎  the antlers of a deer. 2. a thing having the appearance of a head either in form or in relation to a whole, in particular: ∎  the cutting, striking, or operational end of a tool, weapon, or mechanism. ∎  the flattened or knobbed end of a nail, pin, screw, or match. ∎  the ornamented top of a pillar or column. ∎  a compact mass of leaves or flowers at the top of a stem, esp. a capitulum: huge heads of fluffy cream flowers. ∎  the edible leafy part at the top of the stem of such green vegetables as cabbage and lettuce. ∎  one saleable unit of certain vegetables, such as cabbage or cauliflower. 3. the front, forward, or upper part or end of something, in particular: ∎  the upper end of a table or bed: he sat down at the head of the cot. ∎  the flat end of a cask or drum. ∎  the front of a line or procession. ∎  the top of a page. ∎ short for headline. ∎  the top of a flight of stairs or steps. ∎  the source of a river or stream. ∎  the end of a lake or inlet at which a river enters. ∎  [usu. in place names] a promontory: Beachy Head. ∎  the top of a ship's mast. ∎  the bows of a ship. ∎  the fully developed top of a pimple, boil, or abscess. ∎  the foam on top of a glass of beer, or the cream on the top of milk. ∎  short for cylinder head. 4. a person in charge of something; a director or leader: the head of the Dutch Catholic Church. ∎ Brit. short for headmaster or headmistress. 5. Gram. the word that governs all the other words in a phrase in which it is used, having the same grammatical function as the whole phrase. 6. a person considered as a numerical unit: they paid fifty dollars a head. ∎  [treated as pl.] a number of cattle or game as specified: seventy head of dairy cattle. 7. a component in an audio, video, or information system by which information is transferred from an electrical signal to the recording medium, or vice versa. ∎  short for printhead. 8. a body of water kept at a particular height in order to provide a supply at sufficient pressure: an 8 m head of water in the shafts. ∎  the pressure exerted by such water or by a confined body of steam: a good head of steam on the gauge. 9. Naut., slang a toilet, esp. on a boat or ship. 10. Geol. a superficial deposit of rock fragments, formed at the edge of an ice sheet by repeated freezing and thawing and then moved downhill. • adj. chief; principal: the head waiter. • v. [tr.] 1. be in the leading position on: the Palm Sunday procession was headed by the crucifer. ∎  be in charge of: an organizational unit headed by a line manager she headed up the Centennial program. 2. (usu. be headed) give a title or caption to: an article headed “The Protection of Human Life.” ∎  [as adj.] (headed) having a printed heading, typically the name and address of a person or organization: headed notepaper. 3. [intr.] (also be headed) move in a specified direction: he was heading for the exit we were headed in the wrong direction. ∎  (head for) appear to be moving inevitably toward (something, esp. something undesirable): the economy is heading for recession. ∎  [tr.] direct or steer in a specified direction: she headed the car toward them. 4. Soccer shoot or pass (the ball) with the head: a corner kick that he headed into the net. 5. lop off the upper part or branches of (a plant or tree). 6. [intr.] (of a lettuce or cabbage) form a head. PHRASES: be banging (or knocking) one's head against a brick wall be doggedly attempting the impossible and suffering in the process. bang (or knock) people's heads together reprimand people severely, esp. in an attempt to stop their arguing. be hanging over someone's head (of something unpleasant) threaten to affect someone at any moment. be on someone's (own) head be someone's sole responsibility. bite (or snap) someone's head off reply sharply and brusquely to someone. (down) by the head Naut. (of a boat or ship) deeper in the water forward than astern: the Boy Andrew went down by the head. come to a head reach a crisis: the violence came to a head with the deaths of six youths. ∎  suppurate; fester: abscesses should be allowed to come to a head. enter someone's head occur to someone: such an idea never entered my head. from head to toe (or foot) all over one's body: I was shaking from head to toe. get one's head around (or round) inf. understand or come to terms with something: I just can't get my head around this idea. give someone his (or her) head allow someone complete freedom of action. give someone head vulgar slang perform oral sex on someone. go to someone's head (of alcohol) make someone dizzy or slightly drunk. ∎  (of success) make someone conceited. get something into one's (or someone's) head come or cause (someone) to realize or understand: when will you get it into your head that it's the project that counts not me? head of hair the hair on a person's head, regarded in terms of its appearance or quantity: he had a fine head of hair. —— one's head off talk, laugh, etc., unrestrainedly: he was drunk as a skunk and singing his head off. head over heels 1. turning over completely in forward motion, as in a somersault. 2. (also head over heels in love) madly in love: I immediately fell head over heels for Don. a head start an advantage granted or gained at the beginning of something: our fine traditions give us a head start on the competition. heads will roll people will be dismissed or forced to resign.head to head in open, direct conflict or competition: the governor and the senator went head to head in a spontaneous debate. in one's head by mental process without use of physical aids: the piece he'd already written in his head. keep one's head remain calm. keep one's head above water avoid succumbing to difficulties, typically debt. keep one's head down remain inconspicuous in difficult or dangerous times. lose one's head lose self-control; panic. make head or tail of (or heads or tails) understand at all: we couldn't make head or tail of his answer. off (or out of) one's head inf. crazy: my old man's going off his head, you know. ∎  extremely drunk or severely under the influence of drugs. off the top of one's head without careful thought or investigation. over someone's head 1. (also above someone's head) beyond someone's ability to understand: the discussion was over my head, I'm afraid. 2. without someone's knowledge or involvement, esp. when they have a right to it: the deal was struck over the heads of the regions concerned. ∎  with disregard for someone else's (stronger) claim: his promotion over the heads of more senior colleagues. put their (or our or your) heads together consult and work together: they forced the major banks to put their heads together to sort it out. put something into someone's head suggest something to someone: who's being putting ideas into your head? take it into one's head to do something impetuously decide to do something. turn someone's head make someone conceited. turn heads attract a great deal of attention or interest: she recently turned heads with a nude scene.PHRASAL VERBS: head someone/something off intercept and turn aside: he ran up the road to head off approaching cars. ∎  forestall: they headed off a fight by ordering further study of both plans. head up Sailing steer toward the wind.DERIVATIVES: head·ed adj. [in comb.] bald-headed men woolly-headed New Age thinking. head·less adj.

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196. Head

See also 14. ANATOMY ; 51. BODY, HUMAN .

brachycephalism, brachycephaly
the condition of having a wide or broad head. brachycephalic, brachycephalous, adj.
a sarcastic term for phrenology. bumpologist, n.
a form of divination involving measurement of the head.
the science of measuring the dimensions of the human head. cephalometer, n. cephalometric, cephalometrical, adj.
the science that studies the size, shape, and other features of human skulls. craniologist, n. craniologic, craniological, adj.
the science of measuring skulls. craniometrist, n. craniometric, craniometrical, adj.
the observation, examination, and description of the human skull. cranioscopist, n. cranioscopic, cranioscopical, adj.
the surgical operation of opening the skull, as for an operation on the brain.
dicephalism, dicephaly
the state or condition of having two heads. dicephalic, dicephalous, adj.
dolichocephalism, dolicocephaly
the condition of having a long or narrow head. dolicephalic, dolicocephalous, adj.
the condition of very high vertical cranial development. hypsicephalic, adj.
isocephalism, isocephaly
the characteristic of depicting heads of figures at the same level, as in a painting. isocephalic, isocephalous, adj.
macrocephalism, macrocephaly
a condition in which the head or cranial capacity is unusually large. macrocephalic, macrocephalous, adj.
orthocephalism, orthocephaly
the condition of having an intermediate or medium relation between the height of the skull and its breadth or length. orthocephalic, orthocephalous, adj.
a system by which an analysis of character and of the development of faculties is attempted by studying the shape and protuberances of the skull. phrenologist, n. phrenologic, phrenological, adj.
plagiocephalism, plagiocephaly
a deformity of the skull in which one side is more developed in the front, and the other more developed in the rear. plagiocephalic, plagiocephalous, adj.
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1. The part of a peripheral mechanism that is in contact with the medium or very close to it and that is directly responsible for writing data or patterns onto the medium or for reading or erasing them. The word is most frequently used of a magnetic head in a disk drive or tape transport (see magnetic tape), an optical head in an optical storage device, or a print head in a serial printer. See also read/write head.

2. (headend) One end of a transmission medium. The head has some form of control over the contents of the medium and of access to it. See also DQDB, broadband coaxial system.

3. (header) The part of a cell or packet that contains routing and control information used to control the passage of the cell or packet across a packet switching network. See also frame relay, cell relay.

4. The first item in a list.

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headabed, ahead, bed, behead, Birkenhead, bled, bread, bred, coed, cred, crossbred, dead, dread, Ed, embed, Enzed, fed, fled, Fred, gainsaid, head, infrared, ked, lead, led, Med, misled, misread, Ned, outspread, premed, pure-bred, read, red, redd, said, samoyed, shed, shred, sked, sled, sped, Spithead, spread, stead, ted, thread, tread, underbred, underfed, wed •trackbed • flatbed • deathbed •airbed • daybed • seabed •reed bed, seedbed •sickbed • childbed • hotbed • roadbed •footbed • sunbed • sofa bed •waterbed • feather bed • breastfed •dripfed • spoonfed • Szeged •blackhead •cathead, fathead, Flathead •masthead •bedhead, deadhead, redhead •egghead •airhead, stairhead •railhead • maidenhead • Gateshead •beachhead • greenhead • meathead •bighead • bridgehead •dickhead, thickhead •pinhead, skinhead •pithead • Holyhead • sleepyhead •fountainhead • whitehead • godhead •blockhead •drophead, hophead, mophead •hothead • hogshead •sorehead, warhead •Roundhead • bonehead • arrowhead •bullhead • wooden-head • sub-head •bulkhead •chucklehead, knucklehead •drumhead • muttonhead • spearhead •go-ahead • dunderhead • figurehead •loggerhead • hammerhead •letterhead • bobsled • cirriped • biped •moped • quadruped

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1. In certain areas of Britain, the name given to a sheet of poorly sorted, angular rock debris, mantling a hillslope and deposited by gelifluction. Similar material is commonly found as a fossil deposit in the extraglacial areas of N. America and Europe. Coombe rock is similar, but is found on chalk.


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head a head (held in the hands) is the emblem of St Denis, St Oswald, and other saints who were beheaded at martyrdom.
be banging (or knocking) one's head against a brick wall be doggedly attempting the impossible and suffering in the process.
be hanging over someone's head (of something unpleasant) threaten to affect someone at any moment.
head and shoulders above far superior to.
make head or tail of understand at all (usually in negative contexts).

See also put one's head on the block, bury one's head in the sand, headless, heads, a price on someone's head.

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Head ★★★ 1968 (G)

Infamously plotless musical comedy starring the TV fabfour of the ‘60s, the Monkees, in their only film appearance. A number of guest stars appear and a collection of old movie clips are also included. ♫Circle Sky; Can You Dig It; Long Title: Do I Have to Do This All Over Again; Daddy's Song; As We Go Along; The Porpoise Song. 86m/C VHS, DVD . Peter Tork, Mickey Dolenz, Davy Jones, Michael Nesmith, Frank Zappa, Annette Funicello, Teri Garr, Timothy Carey, Logan Ramsey, Victor Mature, Jack Nicholson, Bob Rafelson, Dennis Hopper; D: Bob Rafelson; W: Jack Nicholson, Bob Rafelson; C: Michael Hugo; M: Ken Thorne.

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head anterior (in man, upper) part of the body, containing the mouth, sense organs, and brain; various transf. uses. OE. hēafod = OS. hōbid (Du. hoofd), OHG. houbit (G. haupt), Goth. haubiþ (cf. ON. hǫfuð) :- Gmc. *χauððam, -iðam, the relation of which with L. caput, head, Skr. kapāla- skull, is not clear.
Hence headland strip of land left at the head of furrows OE. (héfodland); promontory XVI. headman chief. OE. hēafodmann. headquarters XVII. headsman †chief XIV; executioner XVII. headstrong XIV. headway motion ahead or forward XVIII; for *aheadway (f. AHEAD). heady headlong (†lit. and fig.) XIV.

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1. Top or upper part of anything, e.g. a doorway or window-aperture.

2. Roofing-tile forming part of the first course of a roof at the eaves.

3. Any stone so finished as to have one end exposed on the face of a wall as a header in brickwork.

4. Upper part of a chimney-stack.

5. Small cistern at the top of a rainwater-pipe receiving water from the gutter called a rainwater-or hopper-head.

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This entry consists of the following articles:

symbolism and ritual use
the celtic head cult