'Head' Used in Idioms and Expressions

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The following idioms and expressions use the noun 'head.' Each idiom or expression has a definition and two example sentences to help understanding of these common idiomatic expressions with 'head.' 

Able to do something standing on one's head

Definition: do something very easily and without effort

  • He's able to count backward standing on his head.
  • Don't worry about that. I can do it standing on my head.

Bang your head against a brick wall

Definition: do something without any chance of it succeeding

  • I've been banging my head against a brick wall when it comes to finding a job.
  • Trying to convince Kevin is like banging your head against a brick wall.

Beat something into someone's head

Definition: teach someone something by repeating it over and over again

Bite someone's head off 

Definition: criticize someone strongly

  • Tim bit my head off last night at the party.
  • Don't bit my head off just because I made a mistake.

Bring something to a head 

Definition: cause a crisis to happen

  • We need to bring the situation to a head to get a resolution.
  • The immigration situation brought the political crisis to a head.

Bury one's head in the sand 

Definition: ignore something completely

  • You're going to have to face the situation and not bury your head in the sand.
  • He chose to bury his head in the sand and not confront her.

Can't make heads or tails out of something

Definition: not be able to understand something

  • I hate to admit that I can't make heads or tails out of this math problem.
  • The politicians can't make heads or tails out of the current employment crisis. 

Drum something into someone's head

Definition: repeat over and over until someone learns something

  • I had to drum German grammar into my head for two years before I could speak the language.
  • I suggest you drum this into your head for the test next week.

Fall head over heels in love

Definition: fall deeply in love

  • She fell head over heals in love with Tom.
  • Have you ever fallen head over heels in love?

From head to toe

Definition: dressed or covered in something completely

  • He's dressed in blue from head to toe.
  • She's wearing lace from head to toe. 

Get a head start on something

Definition: begin doing something early

  • Let's get a head start on the report tomorrow.
  • She got a head start on her homework immediately after school.

Get your head above water

Definition: keep going in life despite many difficulties

  • If I can find a job I'll be able to get my head above water.
  • Study these pages and you'll get your head above water.

Get someone or something out of one's head

Definition: remove someone or something from your thoughts (often used in the negative)

Give someone a head's start

Definition: let someone else begin before you in a competition of some kind

  • I'll give you twenty minutes head's start.
  • Can you give me a head's start?

Go over someone's head

Definition: not be able to understand something

  • I'm afraid the joke went over her head.
  • I'm afraid the situation goes over my head. 

Go to someone's head

Definition: make someone feel better than others

  • His good grades went to his head.
  • Don't let your success go to your head. Stay humble.

Have a good head on your shoulders

Definition: be intelligent

  • She's got a good head on her shoulders.
  • You can trust him because he's got a good head on his shoulders.

Head someone or something off

Definition: arrive before someone or something else

  • Let's head them off at the pass.
  • We need to head the problem off.

Hit the nail on the head

Definition: be exactly right about something

  • I think you hit the nail on the head.
  • His answer hit the nail on the head.

In over one's head

Definition: do something that is too difficult for a person

  • I'm afraid Peter is in over his head with Mary.
  • Do you ever feel that you're in over your head?

Lose your head

Definition: become nervous or angry

  • Don't lose your head over the situation.
  • She lost her head when he told her he wanted a divorce.

Learn more idioms and expressions in English with resources on the site, including stories with multiple idioms and expressions in context.