Definition of overhead in English:

Share this entry



Pronunciation: /əʊvəˈhɛd/
Above the level of the head; in the sky: a helicopter buzzed overhead
More example sentences
  • Helicopters buzz constantly overhead and today a huge fat grey airplane circled low around the city.
  • You may be able to overhear the helicopters overhead.
  • Today, the occasional helicopter still hovers overhead, and sleepy UN soldiers wave cars through the few remaining checkpoints.
above, up above, high up, (up) in the sky, on high, above/over one's head, in flight, aloft


Pronunciation: /ˈəʊvəhɛd/
1Situated above the level of the head: the sun was directly overhead
More example sentences
  • The labourers tapped the overhead power lines situated at least 2 kilometers away from the labour lines on May 16.
  • The wire from that pole to ‘our’ pole was too close to an overhead power supply cable and, in the wind, had rubbed through its insulation.
  • Four miles of overhead power cable can be erected in the Ringley and Stoneclough area.
aerial, elevated, raised, suspended, projecting, overhanging
2(Of a driving mechanism) above the object driven: an overhead cam four-cylinder engine
More example sentences
  • By comparison, the Cadillac's 16 overhead valves and pushrods sound trite at best.
  • Gasoline engines with overhead valves are less polluting than those with side valves.
  • Although very successful over the years, the Honda uses dated overhead valve technology - meaning that the engine relies on pushrods to open the valves.
3 [attributive] (Of a cost or expense) incurred in the upkeep or running of a plant, premises, or business and not attributable to individual products or items: government departments generally baulk at paying full overhead costs
More example sentences
  • Operating and management costs and overhead expenses will be shared by the owners, with Club One taking over the headache of running the fleet.
  • It also benefits from some economies of scale, since production in a foreign plant means that corporate overhead costs are spread over a larger corporate output.
  • Few exchanges offer opportunities to cover overhead expenses, such as cost of goods, payroll, and rent.


Pronunciation: /ˈəʊvəhɛd/
1 (usually overheads) An overhead cost or expense: overheads, such as lighting, equipment, and any little extras, are paid for out of a centralized fund
More example sentences
  • Huge provisions are being made at major global corporations for the cost of cutting overheads, and this will mean that reported profits are depressed by below-the-line charges for several quarters to come.
  • Scrutinise your ‘small costs’ or overheads, benchmark them and implement recommendations.
  • He needed to keep fighting because of his huge costs and overheads.
running costs, operating costs, fixed costs, budget items, costs, expenses;
British  oncosts
2A transparency designed for use with an overhead projector: software for producing slides, charts, and overheads
More example sentences
  • The use of these online materials is equivalent to the materials resulting from the traditional practice of reproducing and distributing the class overheads and lecture outlines.
  • The following overheads will outline the weekly structure.
3An overhead compartment, especially on an aircraft: passengers get up to fiddle with their luggage in the overheads
More example sentences
  • I helped her put her luggage up in the overhead so that she would not hit sleeping people while trying to lift it.
  • Tarl stood up and grabbed her bag from the overhead.
  • Blair reached up to the overhead to retrieve his pack, and a twinge of remembered pain clutched his chest.

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: over|head

Share this entry

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.