Definition of headward in US English:



  • 1In the region or direction of the head.

    • ‘Odd neuron numbers respond to headwards displacements and even numbers to tailwards displacements.’
    1. 1.1Geology Denoting erosion by a stream or river occurring progressively upstream from the original source.
      • ‘During the Miocene the shelf was intermittently emergent, and the submarine canyons were extended to the shelf area through headward erosion.’
      • ‘The Alpine lakes of northern Italy, also, are now thought to occupy sites of headward erosion during Messinian time.’
      • ‘To the east, the Great Escarpment marks the limit of headwards erosion of these tablelands from the coastal plain.’
      • ‘Apparently, V-shaped and planar-floored canyons, previously ascribed to downslope erosion vs. slope failure/headward erosion, respectively, can coexist.’


  • Toward the head.

    • ‘For a very brief instant, looking headwards as he was, he could not identify the person by sex, for he saw a turban and under it a face which though not that of an East Indian was colored almost olive.’
    • ‘Presumably, saying a nerve moves headwards or toewards is not sophisticated enough for doctors.’