Did you know?

Click any word in a definition or example to find the entry for that word

head - definition and synonyms


What are red words?

90% of the time, speakers of English use just 7,500 words in speech and writing. These words appear in red, and are graded with stars. One-star words are frequent, two-star words are more frequent, and three-star words are the most frequent.



The thesaurus of synonyms and related words is fully integrated into the dictionary. Click on the thesaurus category heading under the button in an entry to see the synonyms and related words for that meaning.

verb head pronunciation in British English /hed/
Word Forms
present tense
present participleheading
past tenseheaded
past participleheaded
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  1. 1
    [intransitive] to go in a particular direction
    be headed:

    Where are you headed?

    head for/towards/through etc:

    We decided to head for home.

    She headed towards the library.

    head north/south/east/west:

    They headed north, across the desert.

  2. 2



    head up

    [transitive] to be in control of a group or an organization

    Lord Justice Scott will head the inquiry.

    You will work with the management team headed by Miles Broughton.

  3. 3
    [transitive] to be at the top of a list

    London heads the list of the most popular tourist cities.

  4. 4
    [transitive] to be at the front of a line of people

    The mayor will head the procession through the town centre.

  5. 5
    [transitive] [usually passive] to put a title at the top of a piece of writing
  6. 6
    [transitive] to hit the ball with your head in the game of football

phrasal verbs


sea lion

in an online conversation, repeatedly asking a person questions which suggest that you are interested in what they are talking about, but are actually intended to annoy them

BuzzWord Article

Open Dictionary


an electric skateboard

add a word


A must for anyone with an interest in the changing face of language. The Macmillan Dictionary blog explores English as it is spoken around the world today.

global English and language change from our blog
Macmillan learn live love play