Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
A headword (or head word) is the word under which a set of related dictionary definitions will be listed. This is the word that is used to locate the entry, and which dictates its alphabetical position within the dictionary. Depending on the size and nature of the dictionary, these definitions may include alternative meanings of the word, its etymology and pronunciation, compound words or phrases that contain the headword and any other related information deemed useful by the authors.
For example the headword bread may contain the following (simplified) definitions:
- To coat in breadcrumbs
- — to know which side your bread is buttered to know how to act in your own best interests.
The Oxford English Dictionary contains around 500,000 headwords.
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