verb

[with object]
  • 1Be in the leading position on.

    ‘the St George's Day procession was headed by the mayor’
    • ‘The St Mary's U - 13 boys' team are currently heading the league positions just ahead of Leeds Grammar School.’
    • ‘Madrid heads the Spanish league with 11 rounds of matches remaining.’
    • ‘Bridlington now head the league, albeit on points difference only.’
    • ‘The Swansea ATC Band headed the carnival procession, and the enormous enthusiasm of carnival entrants made up for the lack of numbers.’
    • ‘Once all runners had got up to speed and found track position, Viso immediately headed the times with a 47: 445.’
    • ‘Senior Army officers and civic leaders, headed by the Mayor of Scarborough Sheila Kettlewell, will also attend.’
    • ‘The procession, headed by a military-style cadet band, will set off from Malsis Road at 2pm.’
    • ‘Sean Lamont heads a quintet of wing specialists who are vying for position in the Stade de France showdown.’
    • ‘Lampkin, of Silsden, now heads the title battle on equal points with Fujinami while Jarvis has climbed to joint third place.’
    • ‘Also qualifying was a veritable list of rowing powers: Italy, Poland, and France head the field.’
    • ‘A few years ago, his name headed a public opinion poll that had asked who the people of Benin would prefer as president.’
    • ‘At the festival celebrated in the country around Athens, a jar of wine and a vine headed the procession.’
    • ‘Crowds lined the streets on Friday to cheer a procession headed by England's patron saint on horseback.’
    • ‘Mayor Derek Benfield headed a list of local VIPs who assembled at Waterstone's in the Brunel Centre for yesterday's ceremony.’
    • ‘During my rough times my luxuries were small: coffee headed the list.’
    • ‘With white and purple-robed priests heading the procession, the coffin was carried into the church.’
    • ‘In London a procession headed by two soldiers who had resigned from the army put a black cardboard coffin outside the embassy.’
    • ‘With 32 titles, Kerry heads the list of All-Ireland football winners with rural clubs providing the majority of the county team.’
    • ‘Five police cars headed the march.’
    • ‘The Queen and Prince Philip headed the royal procession into the hall, followed by the Prince of Wales with Princes William and Harry.’
    be at the front of, lead, be the leader of, be at the head of
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    1. 1.1 Be in charge of.
      ‘an organizational unit headed by a line manager’
      ‘she headed up the Jubilee Year programme’
      • ‘R. Pichumani who heads the centre, said the plan was to cover students in all districts of the State in three years.’
      • ‘He left the Met as director of intelligence but had previously worked for Special Branch and he headed the drugs directorate.’
      • ‘Extensive powers were vested into the hands of the President who headed the executive branch of government.’
      • ‘A new management structure headed by a political director.’
      • ‘Noel Terry became chairman and managing director and headed the company until his retirement in 1970.’
      • ‘Each Blackfoot reservation is governed by a general council headed by a single chairman.’
      • ‘In the late 1990s he was, briefly, charged with heading a newly established repatriation service.’
      • ‘Smith, who heads the Dutch branch of the organisation, was taken for questioning by security forces.’
      • ‘A monitoring unit, headed by Martinez's son, Hugo, pinpointed the area where the call was coming from.’
      • ‘A committee which is headed by the chairman himself was also never formed.’
      • ‘The company is headed by managing director Martin Baker and employs a workforce of 60 in Grafton Way, Basingstoke.’
      • ‘The president, who heads the executive branch, serves for a single six-year term.’
      • ‘Mark Gillingham heads the technology unit at the Great Books Foundation in Chicago.’
      • ‘Would you let me know what percentage of the companies on this year's list are headed by women?’
      • ‘Politicians from the Upper South headed the Whig party and charted a moderate course.’
      • ‘She has lived in Iraq for 30 years and heads CARE's operations in the country.’
      • ‘A branch manager heads each distribution center and reports to one of five regional managers.’
      • ‘Niedermayer, who was also the German consul in Belfast, headed the Grundig plant.’
      • ‘Guest speaker will be Richard Hallett who headed a successful campaign to keep a maternity unit in East Sussex open.’
      • ‘The man who heads the company charged with regenerating Swindon's town centre is leaving after only two years in the job.’
      • ‘Detective Inspector Steve Eckersley, who runs the robbery unit for south Manchester, headed a small team investigating the incidents.’
      be in charge of, be at the head of, be in command of, command, be in control of, control, lead, be the leader of, run, manage, direct, administer, supervise, superintend, oversee, preside over, rule, govern, captain, be the boss of, be at the helm of
      View synonyms
  • 2Give a title or caption to.

    ‘an article headed ‘The Protection of Human Life’’
    • ‘Essentially, we want to use the front page to present the key stories of the moment - the Web equivalent of the headlines heading radio and TV bulletins.’
    • ‘She has an obvious reverence for the music; most of the book's chapters are headed by famous song titles.’
    • ‘One review, in a leading German paper, was headed: ‘Not to be touched with a barge pole.’’
    • ‘There is an article here that is headed, ‘President backs extreme view on sex’.’
    • ‘May I refer to the letter by M Jones of October 23 headed Peters for Mayor.’
    • ‘In a column headed Minor Matters, The Times of India writes about motivation classes for young children.’
    • ‘And Paddy Smith's print edition article in today's Oz is headed Smorgon takes road to more attractive product.’
    • ‘We have just read with interest your article headed Mum Furious at Police Inaction.’
    • ‘The pre-dive briefing took around an hour and the warning that heads this article was read at both beginning and end.’
    • ‘He heads his article by saying that havens for wild life don't need buffer zones.’
    • ‘A column headed ITV Watch, possibly with a comma and an exclamation mark, would be far more useful, because hardly anyone does.’
    • ‘His article is headed The BBC has done the country a favour.’
    • ‘I refer to the article on page 3 of Journal headed The state of hospitals.’
  • 3also be headedno object, with adverbial of direction Move in a specified direction.

    ‘he was heading for the exit’
    ‘we were headed in the wrong direction’
    • ‘I climbed down and headed down the path toward the lake for a swim.’
    • ‘Scottish lawyers are concerned at skiers' naivety as they head off for their winter sun.’
    • ‘She heads straight for the back door and Josh follows her out.’
    • ‘Both women left the faculty lounge and headed off in opposite directions.’
    • ‘If Southern California boaters want inland, protected waters they have to head east.’
    • ‘So he gathers up all his belongings and he heads back.’
    • ‘Handing some money over, and nodding politely, she headed for the exit.’
    • ‘She also waters each plant thoroughly every Sunday afternoon before she heads home.’
    • ‘After the incident, the group was believed to have headed off in the direction of Sainsbury's petrol station.’
    • ‘Paying for the postcard, she tucked it in her handbag and headed for her departure gate.’
    • ‘Now she heads back to her old home, to Richmond, Virginia, but things aren't quite like she expected to find them when she goes back home.’
    • ‘He heads upstairs to the weight room for strength training.’
    • ‘So her last stop in the morning before heading to her car is usually the flower garden.’
    • ‘A vehicle was heard leaving the lower village at speed, heading up towards the Church, out of Dunmore East.’
    • ‘He and the other two changed direction and headed off into the night.’
    • ‘So instead of going to the house he heads to the office.’
    • ‘Most birds are heading from wintering grounds to breeding areas in February and March.’
    • ‘I yell goodbye to my dad as he heads out the door for work.’
    • ‘She heads to the elevator to leave the hospital at last.’
    • ‘As he reached a window, he saw her, heading across the big lawn.’
    move towards, go towards, make for, aim for, make one's way towards, go in the direction of, direct one's steps towards, be bound for, steer for, make a beeline for
    View synonyms
    1. 3.1head for Appear to be moving inevitably towards (something, especially something undesirable)
      ‘the economy is heading for recession’
      • ‘With 47 required off the last six overs, the match appeared to be heading for a draw.’
      • ‘Langer and Montgomerie had appeared to be heading for their second triumph of the day.’
      • ‘Scott is heading for a CD prize after clocking up perfect days for all of this half-term.’
      • ‘The ski industry is not doomed, says Harrison, but it is certainly heading for some hard times.’
      • ‘Now some of the investors plan to sell on as the scheme heads for completion.’
      • ‘Three months ago it was feared Swindon was heading for a foster care crisis.’
      • ‘Mr Howard offered no explanation of why polls appeared to show him heading for defeat.’
      • ‘If all the paths pointed down, it could be assumed that the market was heading for a crash.’
      • ‘However, the British schemes for air marshals appear to be heading for difficulties.’
      • ‘Plans are being drawn up to pipe water around Scotland as the country heads for its driest spring on record.’
      • ‘Unluckily, this meant the majority of my book was heading for the scrap heap.’
      • ‘The game appeared to be heading for a goalless draw until Coniston struck twice within a minute.’
    2. 3.2with object and adverbial of direction Direct or steer in a specified direction.
      ‘she headed the car towards them’
      • ‘He sighed, and headed us back to the station.’
      • ‘Head them towards the Washington area.’
      • ‘Stallone heads his car towards him, so he jumps into the river.’
      • ‘The sheep halted, and at the whistle the dog proceeded with short flanking runs which headed them into the gap.’
      • ‘We're going to head her back to port.’
  • 4Soccer
    Shoot or pass (the ball) with the head.

    ‘a corner kick that Moody headed into the net’
    • ‘Windass was coming more and more into it and after a couple of sighters at Dibble's goal he headed home a cross by Crooks - only for the flag to immediately dampen his joy.’
    • ‘Finnan loops a cross into the box, and Keane heads the ball down into Duff's path.’
    • ‘Who needs Owen when a Beckham free kick is headed in by Frank Lampard.’
    • ‘The Czechs attack again, with Karel Poborsky heading a long ball back across the face of goal from the far post.’
    • ‘Duff attacks down the left wing, but his ball is headed away by Sulimani.’
    kick, hit, throw, lob, loft
    View synonyms
  • 5Lop off the upper part or branches of (a plant or tree)

    ‘the willow is headed every three or four years’
    • ‘The trunks of some trees have been headed which causes several branches to grow from just below the cut.’
  • 6no object (of a lettuce or cabbage) form a head.

    • ‘Under very cool conditions, as in an unheated solar greenhouse or a polyethylene tunnel, any Asian heading cabbage will grow more loose and open.’
    • ‘Of the handful of komatsunas available, some are crosses of komatsuna with heading brassicas, either napa types or bok choy.’