Definition of flathead in US English:



  • 1A member of certain North American peoples such as the Chinook, Choctaw, and Salish, named from their supposed practice of flattening their children's heads artificially.

    • ‘In 1875 destitute bands of Flatheads and Pend d' Oreilles were pressing into Blackfeet territory.’
    • ‘By the mid-nineteenth century, they had pushed their enemies, particularly the Shoshone, Flathead, and Kootenai, west across the Rocky Mountains.’
    • ‘Flathead chief Victor refused to move his band from the Bitterroot Valley, the ancestral homeland of the Flatheads.’
    • ‘Unfortunately for the Kootenais and the Flatheads, even after forging close alliances and sticking together for mutual security, the Blackfeet still overwhelmed them, killing many and stealing their horses and goods.’
    • ‘Federal support actually expanded at Stevens's next diplomacy effort, the Hell Gate Treaty with the Pend d' Oreilles, Flatheads, and Kootenais.’
  • 2informal A foolish person.

  • 3An edible tropical marine fish that has a pointed flattened head with the eyes positioned on the top, typically burrowing in the seabed with just the eyes showing.

    Family Platycephalidae: several genera and species

    • ‘You know, we've been here all day and I've been fishing for a couple of hours, we've got six or eight whiting and a flathead, so there's tea.’
    • ‘Squid, cuttlefish, boxfish, stingrays and flatheads can be found among the rocky sections.’
    • ‘The odd flathead with juvenile bream are being caught in the rivers.’
    • ‘In this area, commercial fishermen will not be able to target recreational species such as whiting, bream, flathead and mulloway.’
    • ‘Winter fishing is good now and last week-end there were many encouraging reports of tailor, jew, bream, flathead and blackfish.’
  • 4US (of an engine) having the valves and spark plugs in the cylinder block rather than the cylinder head, which is essentially a flat plate.

    • ‘It had the doors welded shut and the roof cut off, and it was powered by a stock flathead.’
    • ‘I have a '50 Ford pickup with a blown flathead in it.’
    1. 4.1 (of a vehicle) having a flathead engine.
  • 5US as modifier (of a screw) countersunk.

    • ‘Although installation is easy, you're going to need a flathead screwdriver to get these off if you want to change fans.’
    • ‘The unit has a base stand attached to it that can be removed via a single flathead screw.’
    • ‘The clip is quite stiff, and will require a flathead screwdriver to install, but it isn't too difficult nonetheless.’
    • ‘He uses a compact flathead screwdriver to pry open the latch, and then he carefully opens the panel.’
    • ‘With a small flathead screwdriver, gently pry the drive free.’
    • ‘Here's what 3 minutes and a flathead screwdriver achieved.’
    • ‘She pulled out her wallet, which consisted of three credit cards, a few coins, something that looked remotely like a dentist pick and a thin flathead screwdriver.’
    • ‘The system is so simple all you need to put it together is a sharp pocketknife, a punch and a flathead screwdriver.’
    • ‘To use a tool analogy, a flathead and a Phillips head screwdriver are both screwdrivers and they can both help me build things.’
    • ‘To clean the wheels, grab a small flathead screw driver (the real small ones) and chisel the dirt off.’
    • ‘Gently hooking the single clip to a lug on one side of the socket, I then slowly dropped the Volcano into place and used a flathead screwdriver to fasten the clip to the other lug.’
    • ‘It's like having both a flathead and Phillips screwdriver in your toolbox.’
    • ‘You may need to use a flathead screwdriver, but no need to worry about gauging out your motherboard as there is a screwdriver slot to use.’
    • ‘Some clips don't require tools, whereas others require a flathead screwdriver.’
    • ‘For the first few loops, it offered a nice little shot of nostalgia, but after 114 minutes of power ballads I yearned to jam two flathead screwdrivers into my ears.’