The part of a drum that is stretched over the shell and held in place by lugs, and sometimes a rim as well. You strike the head with a mallet, stick, or other body parts (see tenors), including, but not limited to, your hands; in order to produce a sound. If you're a percussionist, the sounds will likley resolve into music. Also the part of a mallet or stick which comes into contact with the percussion instrument.

In the HTML 3.2 spec, the <head> element can contain any of the following:

May refer to two things in English slang (this is true for American and subsequently (and sadly) Canadian...unsure for British). /msg me if yo know ;)

1. (vulgar) A synecdoche where the head of the penis represents the whole penis, thus the expression "Giving head." This in turn creates a metonymy which attributes "head" to blowjobs.

    "Dude, he gives sloppy head! I can do way better."

2. The foam from the top of beer poured into a glass. This is usually used when there is a considerable amount of foam accumulated.

    "Dude, this beer is ALL head! Wtf?"

"But...but...I don't understand...this is factual.../me runs away and cries."

Another use of the versatile word head.

A head is an electromagnetic device that can be used to read, write, or erase data on magnetic media. There are three generic types:

              Bits Per   Tracks Per     Areal
Head Type       Inch       Inch        Density

Monolithic      8000        900          106
Composite      12000       2000          108
Thin-Film      25000       3000          109

Heads can be found on many devices, such as tape drives, hard drives and floppy disk drives.

Yet another example of the versatility of the word head --

It is (possible obsolete) slang for a drug user, especially hallucinogens. A quote from Stephen King and Peter Straub's The Talisman -- "They cranked the dolby because the heads liked it loud."

As a suffix -- pothead, acidhead, etc
Possibly from the Jefferson Airplane lyric "Feed your head"

As a prefix, the ever popular headshop, frequently found as part of a record store, where drug paraphanalia, body jewlery, incense, and other drug-culture related items can be purchased.
When in a modern headshop, it is forbidden to mention that you plan to use your purchases for illegal purposes.

1968 comedy/psychedelicacy movie, written by and starring the Monkees. Frank Zappa and Annette Funicello also appear. Other writing and production credits go to Jack Nicholson and Robert Rafelson. The soundtrack credits a simply amazing number of musicians, and looks a little sump'n like this:

  1. Porpoise Song (Gerry Goffin, Carole King)
  2. Ditty Diego (Jack Nicholson, Robert Rafelson)
  3. Circle Sky (Michael Nesmith)
  4. Can You Dig It (Peter Tork)
  5. As We Go Along (Carole King, Toni Stern)
  6. Get Tuff (Ken Thorne, Robert Rafelson)
  7. Daddy's Song (Harry Nilsson)
  8. Happy Birthday To You (Patty Smith Hill, Mildred J. Hill)
  9. Long Title: Do I Have To Do This All Over Again (Peter Tork)

head is also an ancient and justified UNIX command. Its syntax is typically

head -10 wazoo
head -n 10 wazoo
head -c 1024 wazoo
head -1k wazoo

The first two examples print the first 10 lines in the wazoo file. The third and the fourth print the first kilobyte in the file.
Notice that head, like most UNIX utilities, knows nothing about the content and structure of your file.
This example refers to GNU head, although the first example probably works with any implementation.

head's best buddy are tail, wc, nl, and cut.

A song by The Molly Bloom from the CD "TEMPORAREALITY". Lyrics by David Z. Moss and C. Casey. Note: I am personally acquainted with the authors of this song, and I have obtained their permission to post the lyrics here. (Time permitting, I will add analysis as well at a later date.)

I am driving in my car radio on feeling free
Lines in the road mean nothing to me
I don't cross absent authority
Lines in the road spell authority
I don't cross them because I'm awake

I'm talking to you and you're talking to me
But I want to know what you mean
I look at you and you look at me
But we only see the way that we seem
Time passes, love turns to pain
But it's always today in my brain
It's all in, In my head, In my head, It's all in my head

In my car I am driving, driving at something and not arriving
Lines in the road spell reality, I'm as objective as I can be

It's all in, In my head, In my head, It's all in my head
It's all in, In my head, In my head, It's all in my head

Sometimes I remember that it's all in my mind
Radio signals and warning signs
Sometimes I forget the outside world is doing things to me

I want to touch the government
I want to see your thoughts about me
I want a taste that's permanent
I want to hear the sound of insanity
I want to love the government
I want to see their files about me
I want a trip that's permanent
I want to hear the sound of insanity
I want to fuck the government
Fuck the government

The special word in a phrase, or special morpheme in a word, that determines the meaning and properties of the whole.

Examples: blackbird; weatherman; The man in the red shirt.

A word is headless when it has no head. For example: the few, the proud, a low-life.

The Monkees movie. Directed by Bob Rafelson, written by Rafelson and Jack Nicholson, who would go on to make the Oscar-nominated Five Easy Pieces together. If you think you can skip this film because you've sat through countless episodes of the TV show, think again. This is a psychedelic masterpiece on par with Fellini or Buñuel, with more to say than most Beatles flicks, sung in a language mainstream American film no longer knows. It will challenge and confound you. It will make you laugh. And it rocks.

Practically no one went to see this movie when it was released in 1968. The hippies thought it was too childish and the kids thought it was too weird. The only TV spots promoting it featured a black and white image of a mysterious bespectacled man shuffled with the word "HEAD"--The Monkees were never mentioned. (You can see an excerpt of these ads in the film itself, as one square in the grid after the opening sequence, and again as you see channel flipping right at the end.) It was recently issued on DVD by Rhino Video for a whole new generation to consume.

At its heart, this movie, like recent satires such as Fight Club and Josie and the Pussycats, is about the inherent paradox of corporate art. The Prefab Four admit that they are a manufactured product only three songs in. They win your respect less through writing their own tunes this time than through the oppressive atmosphere of confusion and loneliness they're stuck in. Yet they retain a relentless drive to entertain-- even at the expense of their own mental health-- and they do.

I don't want to give away more of this film's magnificent surprises than I have to, but I'll entice you with a few details: The opening chase sequence reimagines A Hard Day's Night as recurring nightmare, and throws in blissful suicide and mermaids for good measure. The eye in the mirror haunts Davy. Micky gets in the tank and blows up the Coke machine. And the fourth wall is broken over and over and over until you can't tell if any walls are still standing. You'll never forget this one, folks.

Head, the anterior part of the body of an animal when marked off by a difference in size, or by the constriction called a neck.

The presence or absence of a head was much used formerly as a character in classification. Thus Latreille divided animals into the headless, and those provided with a head; and these again formed two groups, the Vertebral animals, with heads properly so called, and Cephalidia, with small, indistinct, heads. But this classification would separate the oyster and all other lamellibranch mollusks from the snail, cuttlefish, etc.; it is, in fact, an artificial character. The mouth and principal nervous organs are the guides to the anterior end of the body, where the head, when recognizable, is situated.

The head of the vertebrated animals presents a regular series of increasing complexity from the lancelet upward. In that fish the most anterior part of the nervous cord is lodged in a canal scarcely distinct from the rest of it. Ascending in the series, it becomes evident that as the anterior nervous mass enlarges, and the ganglia increase in complexity, the anterior vertebrae change their character; as the brain becomes specialized so does the brain case or skull. In man the brain attains its highest development and the head its greatest complexity, the difference between skull and face being now most pronounced. The increasingly globular form of skull in the vertebrates is due to the greater increase of the cerebral hemispheres relatively to that of the base of the brain and axis of the skull; hence the brain comes in man to overhang the face. See SKULL.

Entry from Everybody's Cyclopedia, 1912.
The head is a self-contained part of most modern internal combustion engines. The head typically contains the actuators and lifters/rocker arms that connect to and move the valves up and down to seal and open the intake and exhaust paths (also in the head) from the combustion chamber. In an overhead cam engine, the camshafts reside in the head and directy actuate the valves. In a pushrod engine, the camshaft resides in the actual block and the pushrods extend from below nto the head and activate the rocker arms and then the valves.

The bottom part of the head typically contains recessed areas that forms the topmost parts of the combustion chambers. The bottom-most parts of the valves are seen here. Usually the spark plugs bolt through the top of the head and the electrodes extend through into this recessed area. The head is then bolted to the engine block (containing the piston and cylinders). The regions formed between the recessed area on the bottom of the head and the block become the combustion chambers, where the magic happens. The interface between the block and the head is typically machined to a very high precision so that a near-perfect seal is created.

The place or device on a ship designated for performing excretory functions, something a lubber might crassly call the "toilet".

Human beings have been messing about in boats for millenia, and until very recently the answer to a call of nature at sea was to lean over the side, pull down one's pants, and let loose. There are several hazards in this action, most of which we won't go into here, but chief among them is the danger that a rogue wave might come along and then it's man overboard. The loss of a crewmember makes it harder to get work done, something that irritates the officers.

The answer to this on a larger ship was to extend a board with several rear-end-sized holes out over the water. This board was usually located at the front ("head") of the ship. Although the aforementioned waves would serve as a natural flushing mechanism (in addition to an occasional nasty icy surprise), the real reason for the board's location was to prevent the offending material from falling through portholes at the rear of the ship into the officers' cabins.

The natural names a Jack might use for this device among his shipmates would probably have been frowned upon in mixed company, and so, visiting the "head" became his primary euphemism.

Today, "head" refers to any marine toilet, or the small cabin that encloses the plumbing fixtures. Be sure to close the petcocks before running her hard, or you might wind up on the bottom!

A little help in confirming bits of this from is obliviously hilarious.

Head (?), n. [OE. hed, heved, heaved, AS. he�xa0;fod; akin to D. hoofd, OHG. houbit, G. haupt, Icel. hofu, Sw. hufvud, Dan. hoved, Goth. haubip. The word does not corresponds regularly to L. caput head (cf. E. Chief, Cadet, Capital), and its origin is unknown.]


The anterior or superior part of an animal, containing the brain, or chief ganglia of the nervous system, the mouth, and in the higher animals, the chief sensory organs; poll; cephalon.


The uppermost, foremost, or most important part of an inanimate object; such a part as may be considered to resemble the head of an animal; often, also, the larger, thicker, or heavier part or extremity, in distinction from the smaller or thinner part, or from the point or edge; as, the head of a cane, a nail, a spear, an ax, a mast, a sail, a ship; that which covers and closes the top or the end of a hollow vessel; as, the head of a cask or a steam boiler.


The place where the head should go; as, the head of a bed, of a grave, etc.; the head of a carriage, that is, the hood which covers the head.


The most prominent or important member of any organized body; the chief; the leader; as, the head of a college, a school, a church, a state, and the like.

"Their princes and heads."

Robynson (More's Utopia).

The heads of the chief sects of philosophy. Tillotson.

Your head I him appoint. Milton.


The place or honor, or of command; the most important or foremost position; the front; as, the head of the table; the head of a column of soldiers.

An army of fourscore thousand troops, with the duke Marlborough at the head of them. Addison.


Each one among many; an individual; -- often used in a plural sense; as, a thousand head of cattle.

It there be six millions of people, there are about four acres for every head. Graunt.


The seat of the intellect; the brain; the understanding; the mental faculties; as, a good head, that is, a good mind; it never entered his head, it did not occur to him; of his own head, of his own thought or will.

Men who had lost both head and heart. Macaulay.


The source, fountain, spring, or beginning, as of a stream or river; as, the head of the Nile; hence, the altitude of the source, or the height of the surface, as of water, above a given place, as above an orifice at which it issues, and the pressure resulting from the height or from motion; sometimes also, the quantity in reserve; as, a mill or reservoir has a good head of water, or ten feet head; also, that part of a gulf or bay most remote from the outlet or the sea.


A headland; a promontory; as, Gay Head.



A separate part, or topic, of a discourse; a theme to be expanded; a subdivision; as, the heads of a sermon.


Culminating point or crisis; hence, strength; force; height.

Ere foul sin, gathering head, shall break into corruption. Shak.

The indisposition which has long hung upon me, is at last grown to such a head, that it must quickly make an end of me or of itself. Addison.


Power; armed force.

My lord, my lord, the French have gathered head. Shak.


A headdress; a covering of the head; as, a laced head; a head of hair.



An ear of wheat, barley, or of one of the other small cereals.

15. Bot. (a)

A dense cluster of flowers, as in clover, daisies, thistles; a capitulum.


A dense, compact mass of leaves, as in a cabbage or a lettuce plant.


The antlers of a deer.


A rounded mass of foam which rises on a pot of beer or other effervescing liquor.


18. pl.

Tiles laid at the eaves of a house.


Head is often used adjectively or in self-explaining combinations; as, head gear or headgear, head rest. Cf. Head, a.

A buck of the first head, a male fallow deer in its fifth year, when it attains its complete set of antlers. Shak. -- By the head. Naut. See under By. -- Elevator head, Feed head, etc. See under Elevator, Feed, etc. -- From head to foot, through the whole length of a man; completely; throughout. "Arm me, audacity, from head to foot." Shak. -- Head and ears, with the whole person; deeply; completely; as, he was head and ears in debt or in trouble. [Colloq.] -- Head fast. Naut. See 5th Fast. -- Head kidney Anat., the most anterior of the three pairs of embryonic renal organs developed in most vertebrates the pronephors. -- Head money, a capitation tax; a poll tax. Milton. -- Head pence, a poll tax. [Obs.] -- Head sea, a sea that meets the head of a vessel or rolls against her course. -- Head and shoulders. (a) By force; violently; as, to drag one, head and shoulders. "They bring in every figure of speech, head and shoulders." Felton. (b) By the height of the head and shoulders; hence, by a great degree or space; by far; much; as, he is head and shoulders above them. -- Head or tail, this side or that side; this thing or that; -- a phrase used in throwing a coin to decide a choice, guestion, or stake, head being the side of the coin bearing the effigy or principal figure (or, in case there is no head or face on either side, that side which has the date on it), and tail the other side. -- Neither head nor tail, neither beginning nor end; neither this thing nor that; nothing distinct or definite; -- a phrase used in speaking of what is indefinite or confused; as, they made neither head nor tail of the matter. [Colloq.] -- Head wind, a wind that blows in a direction opposite the vessel's course. -- Out one's own head, according to one's own idea; without advice or cooperation of another. Over the head of, beyond the comprehension of. M. Arnold.<-- go over one's head = appeal to one's superior in line of command --> -- To be out of one's head, to be temporarily insane. -- To come or draw to a head. See under Come, Draw. -- To give (one) the head, or; To give head, to let go, or to give up, control; to free from restraint; to give license. "He gave his able horse the head." Shak. "He has so long given his unruly passions their head." South. -- To his head, before his face. "An uncivil answer from a son to a father, from an obliged person to a benefactor, is a greater indecency than if an enemy should storm his house or revile him to his head." Jer. Taylor. -- To lay heads together, to consult; to conspire. -- To lose one's head, to lose presence of mind. -- To make head, or; To make head against, to resist with success; to advance. -- To show one's head, to appear. Shak. -- To turn head, to turn the face or front. "The ravishers turn head, the fight renews." Dryden.

© Webster 1913.

Head (?), a.

Principal; chief; leading; first; as, the head master of a school; the head man of a tribe; a head chorister; a head cook.


© Webster 1913.

Head (?), v. t. [imp. & p. p. Headed; p. pr. & vb. n. Heading.]


To be at the head of; to put one's self at the head of; to lead; to direct; to act as leader to; as, to head an army, an expedition, or a riot.



To form a head to; to fit or furnish with a head; as, to head a nail.



To behead; to decapitate.




To cut off the top of; to lop off; as, to head trees.


To go in front of; to get in the front of, so as to hinder or stop; to oppose; hence, to check or restrain; as, to head a drove of cattle; to head a person; the wind heads a ship.


To set on the head; as, to head a cask.

To head off, to intercept; to get before; as, an officer heads off a thief who is escaping. -- To head up, to close, as a cask or barrel, by fitting a head to.

© Webster 1913.

Head, v. i.


To originate; to spring; to have its course, as a river.

A broad river, that heads in the great Blue Ridge. Adair.


To go or point in a certain direction; to tend; as, how does the ship head?


To form a head; as, this kind of cabbage heads early.

© Webster 1913.

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