Word of the Day: head

 
 
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Word Reference
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Word of the Day
 
December 8, 2015
 
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head (noun, verb, adjective) sound LISTEN icon
 
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To get to the church, head right on Main Street.

 
Head has many meanings. Obviously it is the upper part of the body, as well as the intellect or mind. It is also a position of leadership and the person in charge. As a verb, head means 'to be in charge' (in this sense, the phrasal verb head up is often used) or 'to be first in something.' It also means 'to move toward something,' both literally and figuratively.
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Example sentences
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Maria was always at the head of her class and now she is a great doctor!
 
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Tony was the head of the sales department for 30 years before retiring.
 
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A new restaurant is opening around the corner and they are looking for a head chef.
 
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She headed up the cultural program at the language academy.
 
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The Women's Liberation organization headed the protest.
 
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To get to the Grand Canyon, you need to head south on this road.
 
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The economy of this country is heading for crisis.
 
 
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Multi-word forms
 

get your head around something (or wrap your head around something; informal): understand something: "This technique is quite complicated; it will take me a while to wrap my head around it."

fall head over heels for someone (figurative): fall completely in love with someone: "John fell head over heels for Mary as soon as he saw her."

hold your head up high (or hold your head high; figurative): be proud: "Even though our team lost, they played well, so they can hold their heads up high."

lose your head (figurative): panic: "It's important not to lose your head in an emergency, so try to stay calm."

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Additional information
 
Head has a lot of other meanings, check out the full definition!
Did you know?
 
Heads up is a very common expression. Literally, it means the opposite of what you would expect, and we say it when an object like a ball is flying toward someone and they should move their head down or get out of the way. Example: "Heads up! The ball's going to hit you!" As a noun and spelled with a hyphen, a heads-up is a tip or warning. Example: "Karen gave us a heads-up that our boss was on his way into the office."
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Other forms
 
headed (adjective), headless (adjective)
Origin
 
Head dates back to before 900. It comes from the Old English word hēafod and is similar to the Old High German word houbit and the Gothic word haubith. In middle English, around the 12th century, the word was he(v)ed, which changed into the form we know now.
 
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Learn more about head in our forums
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In other languages
 
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