Cambridge Dictionaries online Cambridge Dictionaries online

The most popular online dictionary and thesaurus for learners of English

English definition of “head”

head

noun [C]
 
 
/hed/
a person who is in charge of a team, department, or an organization: Each department head has a great deal of freedom with regard to decision-making. The proposal awaits final approval by a meeting of EU heads of state next month. If you are a single parent, you can reduce your tax liability by filing as a head of household with a dependent child. a head buyer/cashier/trader
one person considered as a unit: cost/price/spend per head The region saw incomes per head fall by an average 4 per cent a year over the past decade. The airline offered maximum compensation of £150 a head to anyone whose flight was disrupted by the strike action.
be/get in over your head to be involved in something that is too difficult for you to deal with: He denied fraud saying he was a businessman who just got in over his head.
bury/have your head in the sand to refuse to think about a problem or difficult situation that could have unpleasant effects: The dangers of identity theft are clear but many companies still choose to bury their heads in the sand and act only after there has been a security breach.
come to a head (also bring sth to a head) if a difficult situation comes to a head, or someone brings it to a head, it reaches a stage when someone must take strong action to deal with it: The row came to a head when the US imposed one billion dollars in taxes on a whole range of consumer goods.
get your head round/around sth to manage to understand something: It's hard to get your head round these new tax laws.
get/keep your head down UK informal to put all your effort into finishing a particular task: If I get my head down, I'll be able to finish the report before the end of the day. to do or say as little as possible in order to avoid attention: The chairman intends to keep his head down until his disagreement with the serious fraud office is settled.
go over sb's head to deal with someone at a higher level: He was furious that staff had gone over his head to try and implement departmental changes without his approval. to be too difficult for someone to understand: Most of the budget meeting went over my head.
have a (good) head for sth to be very good at something: She had a good head for business.
head on if you deal with something head on, you deal with it directly and with determination: Leading corporations are tackling their carbon emissions head on. if you compete head on with another business, you offer the same products or services and each try to be more successful than the other: The merger should enable the bank to compete head on with the other major investment institutions.
heads will roll used to say that people are likely to be punished or lose their jobs because of something they have done: Sources close to the bank have denied suggestions that heads will roll following the huge losses reported this week.
keep your head above water to try to manage a difficult situation, especially when it involves a lot of work or a lack of money: The business has lurched from one financial crisis to another but we have managed to keep our heads above water.
put our/your/their heads together to work together with others to solve a problem or deal with a difficult situation: If we want to remain competitive, we'd better put our heads together and come up with new ways of reaching our market.
two heads are better than one used to say that two people working together will achieve more than one person working alone → See also block noun, turn verb, heads of agreement, head start, heads-up, head tax, head-to-head adverb, head-to-head adjective
(Definition of head noun from the Cambridge Business English Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)
What is the pronunciation of head?
Browse related topics

You are looking at an entry to do with Neglecting and ignoring, but you might be interested in these topics from the Attention and care topic area:

Add Cambridge dictionaries to your browser to your website

Definitions of “head” in other dictionaries

Word of the Day

microbrewery

a small company that makes beer, usually using traditional methods, and often has a restaurant where its beer is served

Word of the Day

Blog

Read our blog about how the English language behaves.

Learn More

New Words

Find words and meanings that have just started to be used in English, and let us know what you think of them.

Learn More