Definition of head noun from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary

    part of body
  1. 1   [countable] 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). CollocationsPhysical appearance A person may be described as having:Eyes (bright) blue/​green/(dark/​light) brown/​hazel eyes deep-set/​sunken/​bulging/​protruding eyes small/​beady/​sparkling/​twinkling/(informal) shifty eyes piercing/​penetrating/​steely eyes bloodshot/​watery/​puffy eyes bushy/​thick/​dark/​raised/​arched eyebrows long/​dark/​thick/​curly/​false eyelashes/​lashesFace a flat/​bulbous/​pointed/​sharp/​snub nose a straight/​a hooked/​a Roman/(formal) an aquiline nose full/​thick/​thin/​pouty lips dry/​chapped/​cracked lips flushed/​rosy/​red/​ruddy/​pale cheeks soft/​chubby/​sunken cheeks white/​perfect/​crooked/​protruding teeth a large/​high/​broad/​wide/​sloping forehead a strong/​weak/​pointed/​double chin a long/​full/​bushy/​wispy/​goatee beard a long/​thin/​bushy/​droopy/​handlebar/​pencil moustache/ (especially US English) mustacheHair and skin pale/​fair/​olive/​dark/​tanned skin dry/​oily/​smooth/​rough/​leathery/​wrinkled skin a dark/​pale/​light/​sallow/​ruddy/​olive/​swarthy/​clear complexion deep/​fine/​little/​facial wrinkles blonde/​blond/​fair/(light/​dark) brown/(jet-)black/​auburn/​red/(British English) ginger/​grey hair straight/​curly/​wavy/​frizzy/​spiky hair thick/​thin/​fine/​bushy/​thinning hair dyed/​bleached/​soft/​silky/​dry/​greasy/​shiny hair long/​short/​shoulder-length/​cropped hair a bald/​balding/​shaved head a receding hairline a bald patch/​spot a side/​centre/(US English) center (British English) parting/ (North American English) partBody a long/​short/​thick/​slender/(disapproving) scrawny neck broad/​narrow/​sloping/​rounded/​hunched shoulders a bare/​broad/​muscular/​small/​large chest a flat/​swollen/​bulging stomach a small/​tiny/​narrow/​slim/​slender/28-inch waist big/​wide/​narrow/​slim hips a straight/​bent/​arched/​broad/​hairy back thin/​slender/​muscular arms big/​large/​small/​manicured/​calloused/​gloved hands long/​short/​fat/​slender/​delicate/​bony fingers long/​muscular/​hairy/​shapely/(both informal, often disapproving) skinny/​spindly legs muscular/​chubby/(informal, disapproving) flabby thighs big/​little/​small/​dainty/​wide/​narrow/​bare feet a good/​a slim/​a slender/​an hourglass figure be of slim/​medium/​average/​large/​athletic/​stocky build see also death’s head See related entries: Body parts
  2. mind
  3. 2  [countable] 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 something). 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
  4. measurement
  5. 3a head [singular] 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).
  6. pain
  7. 4[countable, usually singular] (informal) a continuous pain in your head synonym headache I woke up with a really bad head this morning.
  8. of group/organization
  9. 5  [countable, uncountable] 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. (British English) the head boy/girl (= a student who is chosen to represent the school) See related entries: Restaurant people, Job titles
  10. of school/college
  11. 6[countable] (also Head) (British English) the person in charge of a school or college synonym headmaster, headmistress, head teacher I've been called in to see the Head. the deputy head See related entries: Teaching and learning, People in schools, School life
  12. side of coin
  13. 7heads [uncountable] 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 something compare tail
  14. end of object
  15. 8[countable, usually singular] head (of something) the end of a long narrow object that is larger or wider than the rest of it the head of a nail see also bedhead
  16. top
  17. 9[singular] head of something the top or highest part of something at the head of the page They finished the season at the head of their league.
  18. of river
  19. 10[singular] the head of the river the place where a river begins synonym source See related entries: Rivers and lakes
  20. of table
  21. 11[singular] the head of the table the most important seat at a table The President sat at the head of the table.
  22. of line of people
  23. 12[singular] the head of something the position at the front of a line of people The prince rode at the head of his regiment.
  24. of plant
  25. 13[countable] head (of something) the mass of leaves or flowers at the end of a stem Remove the dead heads to encourage new growth.
  26. on beer
  27. 14[singular] the mass of small bubbles on the top of a glass of beer
  28. of spot
  29. 15[countable] the part of a spot on your skin that contains a thick yellowish liquid (= pus) see also blackhead
  30. in tape/video recorder
  31. 16[countable] the part of a tape recorder or video recorder that touches the tape and changes the electrical signals into sounds and/or pictures
  32. number of animals
  33. 17head of something [plural] used to say how many animals of a particular type are on a farm, in a herd, etc. 200 head of sheep
  34. of steam
  35. 18a head of steam [singular] the pressure produced by steam in a confined space The old engine still manages to build up a good head of steam.
  36. sex
  37. 19[uncountable] (taboo, slang) oral sex (= using the mouth to give somebody sexual pleasure) to give head
  38. linguistics
  39. 20 [countable] 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.
  40. Word Origin Old English hēafod, of Germanic origin; related to Dutch hoofd and German Haupt.Extra examples Don’t bother your pretty little head with things like that! For some reason she got it into her head that the others don’t like her. He could feel his head spinning after only one drink. He dived head first into the water. He hung his head in shame. He is only the nominal head of the company. He lay writhing on the ground, clutching his head in pain. He looked at me as if I needed my head examined. He put his head around the door. He put his head in his hands, exasperated. He scratched his head, not understanding a word. He scratched his head. ‘I don’t understand, ’ he said. He shaved his head and became a monk. He threw his head back and laughed out loud. He won by a head. Her head tilted to one side as she considered the question. His head drooped and tears fell into his lap. I called heads and it came down tails. I can’t get that tune out of my head. I can’t work it out in my head—I need a calculator. I decided to go for a walk to clear my head. I have a good head for figures. I wish you’d use your head. I’m normally asleep as soon as my head hits the pillow. It never entered my head that he might be lying. It was an accident, said a voice inside his head. It was the first name that popped into my head. Peter is a head taller than you. She buried her head in the pillow. She declined with a brief shake of the head. She jerked her head in the direction of the door. She needed to keep a clear head if she was to remain in control. She rested her head on his shoulder. She sat with bowed head. She shook her head in disbelief. She’s taller by a head. Simply counting heads reveals that men are far better represented at senior management level than women. The Queen is titular head of the Church of England. The ambassador dismissed him with a curt nod of the head. The city gates were adorned with severed heads. The favourite was a short head in front. The firm opened for business with an initial head count of 20 staff. The meal cost £15 a head. The message was sent to all the crowned heads of Europe. The message was sent to all the crowned heads= kings and queens of Europe. The soldiers were ordered to fire over the heads of the crowd. The thunder burst with a grand crash above our heads. They nodded their heads in agreement. Try to put the exams out of your head for tonight. When will you get it into your head that I don’t want to discuss this any more! When will you get it into your head= understand that I don’t want to discuss this any more! Who’s been putting such weird ideas into your head? a summit meeting of heads of state a woman with a beautiful head of chestnut hair I remember sitting outside the Head’s office waiting to be called in. I’ve been called to see the Head. It is a parliamentary democracy with a president as head of state. She is deputy head of Greenlands Comprehensive, a struggling inner city school. She resigned as head of department. The Bishop is head of the Church in Kenya. The chairman’s resignation finally brought matters to a head. The dispute finally came to a head in March that year. The minister has written to every secondary head in Scotland. The thought never entered my head. Things came to a head when several of the nurses made a formal complaint.Idioms
    bang/knock your/their heads together
     
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    (informal) to force people to stop arguing and behave in a sensible way
    be banging, etc. your head against a brick wall
     
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    (informal) to keep trying to do something that will never be successful Trying to reason with them was like banging my head against a brick wall.
    be/stand head and shoulders above somebody/something
     
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    to be much better than other people or things His performance stood head and shoulders above the rest.
    bite/snap somebody’s head off
     
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    (informal) to shout at somebody in an angry way, especially without reason See related entries: Anger
    bring something to a head, come to a head
     
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    if you bring a situation to a head or if a situation comes to a head, you are forced to deal with it quickly because it suddenly becomes very bad
    bury/hide your head in the sand
     
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    to refuse to admit that a problem exists or refuse to deal with it
    can’t make head nor tail of something
     
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    to be unable to understand something I couldn't make head nor tail of what he was saying.
    do somebody’s head in
     
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    (British English, informal) to make somebody feel confused, upset and/or annoyed Shut up! You're doing my head in. See related entries: Describing annoying traits
    do something standing on your head
     
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    (informal) to be able to do something very easily and without having to think too much
    drum something into somebody’s head
     
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    = drum something into somebody
    covering your whole body We were covered from head to foot in mud. She was dressed from head to toe in red.
      get your head down(informal)
       
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    1. 1(British English) to sleep I managed to get my head down for an hour.
    2. 2= keep/get your head down
    get your head round something
     
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    (British English, informal) to be able to understand or accept something She's dead. I can't get my head round it yet.
    give somebody their head
     
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    to allow somebody to do what they want without trying to stop them
    give somebody ideas, put ideas into somebody’s head
     
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    to give somebody hopes about something that may not be possible or likely; to make somebody act or think in an unreasonable way Who's been putting ideas into his head?
    go head to head (with somebody)
     
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    to deal with somebody in a very direct and determined way The company will be going head to head with the giant of the pharmaceuticals market.
      go to somebody’s head
       
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    1. 1(of alcohol) to make you feel drunk That glass of wine has gone straight to my head.
    2. 2(of success, praise, etc.) to make you feel too proud of yourself in a way that other people find annoying
    have eyes in the back of your head
     
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    to be aware of everything that is happening around you, even things that seem difficult or impossible to see You can’t get away with anything in her class. She has eyes in the back of her head.
    have a good head on your shoulders
     
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    to be a sensible person
      have a head for something
       
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    1. 1to be good at something to have a head for figures/business
    2. 2if somebody does not have a head for heights, they feel nervous and think they are going to fall when they look down from a high place
      have your head in the clouds
       
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    1. 1to be thinking about something that is not connected with what you are doing
    2. 2to have ideas, plans, etc. that are not realistic
    have your head screwed on (the right way)
     
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    (informal) to be a sensible person
    have a roof over your head
     
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    to have somewhere to live Thanks to Bob’s generosity, I still have a roof over my head.
     for each person The meal worked out at $20 a head.
    1. 1moving forwards or downwards with your head in front of the rest of your body He fell head first down the stairs.
    2. 2without thinking carefully about something before acting She got divorced and rushed head first into another marriage.
    3. synonym headlong
    head over heels in love
     
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    loving somebody very much He's fallen head over heels in love with his boss.
    used to ask somebody which side of a coin they think will be facing upwards when it is tossed in order to decide something by chance
    heads will roll (for something)
     
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    (informal, usually humorous) used to say that some people will be punished because of something that has happened
    hit the nail on the head
     
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    to say something that is exactly right
    hold/put a gun to somebody’s head
     
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    to force somebody to do something that they do not want to do, by making threats
    hold your head high, hold up your head
     
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    to be proud of or not feel ashamed about something that you have done She managed to hold her head high and ignore what people were saying. See related entries: Proud
    I’ll knock your block/head off!
     
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    (informal) used to threaten somebody that you will hit them
    involved in something that is too difficult for you to deal with After a week in the new job, I soon realized that I was in over my head.
    keep your head, keep a clear/cool head
     
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    to remain calm in a difficult situation
    keep your head above water
     
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    to deal with a difficult situation, especially one in which you have financial problems, and just manage to survive I’m not sure how much longer we’ll be able to keep our heads above water.
    keep/get your head down
     
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    to avoid attracting attention to yourself If I were you, I’d keep your head down for a couple of weeks.
    to laugh very loudly and for a long time
    laugh, scream, etc. your head off
     
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    (informal) to laugh, etc. a lot and very loudly
    let your heart rule your head
     
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    to act according to what you feel rather than to what you think is sensible
    like a bear with a sore head
     
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    (informal) bad-tempered or in a bad-tempered way I should keep out of his way. He’s like a bear with a sore head this morning.
    to become unable to act in a calm or sensible way
    need (to have) your head examined
     
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    (informal) to be crazy See related entries: Describing strange traits
    not bother yourself/your head with/about something
     
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    (especially British English) to not spend time/effort on something, because it is not important or you are not interested in it
    not harm/touch a hair of somebody’s head
     
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    to not hurt somebody physically in any way
    off the top of your head
     
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    (informal) just guessing or using your memory, without taking time to think carefully or check the facts I can't remember the name off the top of my head, but I can look it up for you.
    (have) an old head on young shoulders
     
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    used to describe a young person who acts in a more sensible way than you would expect for a person of their age
    on your (own) head be it
     
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    used to tell somebody that they will have to accept any unpleasant results of something that they decide to do Tell him the truth if you want to, but on your own head be it!
      out of/off your head(British English, informal)
       
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    1. 1crazy
    2. 2not knowing what you are saying or doing because of the effects of alcohol or drugs
    1. 1too difficult or complicated for somebody to understand A lot of the jokes went (= were) right over my head.
    2. 2to a higher position of authority than somebody I couldn't help feeling jealous when she was promoted over my head. I’m not happy that you went over my head to ask for this time off.
    a price on somebody’s head
     
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    an amount of money that is offered for capturing or killing somebody Ever since he killed the gang’s leader, there has been a price on his head.
    put/lay your head/neck on the block
     
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    to risk losing your job, damaging your reputation, etc. by doing or saying something It's not a matter that I'm prepared to put my head on the block for.
    put our/your/their heads together
     
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    to think about or discuss something as a group
    something rears its (ugly) head
     
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    if something unpleasant rears its head or rears its ugly head, it appears or happens
    to make you feel that you can still hear something His warning was still ringing in my ears.
    scratch your head (over something)
     
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    to think hard in order to find an answer to something Experts have been scratching their heads over the increase in teenage crime.
    stand/turn something on its head
     
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    to make people think about something in a completely different way
    take it into your head that…
     
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    to suddenly start thinking something, especially something that other people think is stupid
    take it into your head to do something
     
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    to suddenly decide to do something, especially something that other people think is stupid
    (informal) a physical condition in which your head is painful or you cannot think clearly as a result of an illness or of drinking too much alcohol You’re going to have a thick head in the morning! (of success, praise, etc.) to make a person feel too proud in a way that other people find annoying
    two heads are better than one
     
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    (saying) used to say that two people can achieve more than one person working alone
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: head