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by the head
From The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:
Head \Head\ (h[e^]d), n. [OE. hed, heved, heaved, AS. he['a]fod; akin to D. hoofd, OHG. houbit, G. haupt, Icel. h["o]fu[eth], Sw. hufvud, Dan. hoved, Goth. haubi[thorn]. The word does not correspond regularly to L. caput head (cf. E. Chief, Cadet, Capital), and its origin is unknown.] 1. 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. [1913 Webster] 2. 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. [1913 Webster] 3. 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. [1913 Webster] 4. 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). [1913 Webster] The heads of the chief sects of philosophy. --Tillotson. [1913 Webster] Your head I him appoint. --Milton. [1913 Webster] 5. 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. [1913 Webster] An army of fourscore thousand troops, with the duke of Marlborough at the head of them. --Addison. [1913 Webster] 6. Each one among many; an individual; -- often used in a plural sense; as, a thousand head of cattle. [1913 Webster] It there be six millions of people, there are about four acres for every head. --Graunt. [1913 Webster] 7. 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. [1913 Webster] Men who had lost both head and heart. --Macaulay. [1913 Webster] 8. 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. [1913 Webster] 9. A headland; a promontory; as, Gay Head. --Shak. [1913 Webster] 10. A separate part, or topic, of a discourse; a theme to be expanded; a subdivision; as, the heads of a sermon. [1913 Webster] 11. Culminating point or crisis; hence, strength; force; height. [1913 Webster] Ere foul sin, gathering head, shall break into corruption. --Shak. [1913 Webster] 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. [1913 Webster] 12. Power; armed force. [1913 Webster] My lord, my lord, the French have gathered head. --Shak. [1913 Webster] 13. A headdress; a covering of the head; as, a laced head; a head of hair. --Swift. [1913 Webster] 14. An ear of wheat, barley, or of one of the other small cereals. [1913 Webster] 15. (Bot.) (a) A dense cluster of flowers, as in clover, daisies, thistles; a capitulum. (b) A dense, compact mass of leaves, as in a cabbage or a lettuce plant. [1913 Webster] 16. The antlers of a deer. [1913 Webster] 17. A rounded mass of foam which rises on a pot of beer or other effervescing liquor. --Mortimer. [1913 Webster] 18. pl. Tiles laid at the eaves of a house. --Knight. [1913 Webster] Note: Head is often used adjectively or in self-explaining combinations; as, head gear or headgear, head rest. Cf. Head, a. [1913 Webster] 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 pronephros. 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. Heads or tails or Head or tail, this side or that side; this thing or that; -- a phrase used in throwing a coin to decide a choice, question, 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. off the top of my head, from quick recollection, or as an approximation; without research or calculation; -- a phrase used when giving quick and approximate answers to questions, to indicate that a response is not necessarily accurate. Out of one's own head, according to one's own idea; without advice or co["o]peration of another. Over the head of, beyond the comprehension of. --M. Arnold. to go over the head of (a person), to appeal to a person superior to (a person) 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. [1913 Webster] .
From The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:
By \By\ (b[imac]), prep. [OE. bi, AS. b[imac], big, near to, by, of, from, after, according to; akin to OS. & OFries. bi, be, D. bij, OHG. b[imac], G. bei, Goth. bi, and perh. Gr. 'amfi`. E. prefix be- is orig. the same word. [root]203. See pref. Be-.] 1. In the neighborhood of; near or next to; not far from; close to; along with; as, come and sit by me. [1913 Webster] By foundation or by shady rivulet He sought them both. --Milton. [1913 Webster] 2. On; along; in traversing. Compare 5. [1913 Webster] Long labors both by sea and land he bore. --Dryden. [1913 Webster] By land, by water, they renew the charge. --Pope. [1913 Webster] 3. Near to, while passing; hence, from one to the other side of; past; as, to go by a church. [1913 Webster] 4. Used in specifying adjacent dimensions; as, a cabin twenty feet by forty. [1913 Webster] 5. Against. [Obs.] --Tyndale [1. Cor. iv. 4]. [1913 Webster] 6. With, as means, way, process, etc.; through means of; with aid of; through; through the act or agency of; as, a city is destroyed by fire; profit is made by commerce; to take by force. [1913 Webster] Note: To the meaning of by, as denoting means or agency, belong, more or less closely, most of the following uses of the word: (a) It points out the author and producer; as, "Waverley", a novel by Sir W.Scott; a statue by Canova; a sonata by Beethoven. (b) In an oath or adjuration, it indicates the being or thing appealed to as sanction; as, I affirm to you by all that is sacred; he swears by his faith as a Christian; no, by Heaven. (c) According to; by direction, authority, or example of; after; -- in such phrases as, it appears by his account; ten o'clock by my watch; to live by rule; a model to build by. (d) At the rate of; according to the ratio or proportion of; in the measure or quantity of; as, to sell cloth by the yard, milk by the quart, eggs by the dozen, meat by the pound; to board by the year. (e) In comparison, it denotes the measure of excess or deficiency; when anything is increased or diminished, it indicates the measure of increase or diminution; as, larger by a half; older by five years; to lessen by a third. (f) It expresses continuance or duration; during the course of; within the period of; as, by day, by night. (g) As soon as; not later than; near or at; -- used in expressions of time; as, by this time the sun had risen; he will be here by two o'clock. [1913 Webster] Note: In boxing the compass, by indicates a pint nearer to, or towards, the next cardinal point; as, north by east, i.e., a point towards the east from the north; northeast by east, i.e., on point nearer the east than northeast is. [1913 Webster] Note: With is used instead of by before the instrument with which anything is done; as, to beat one with a stick; the board was fastened by the carpenter with nails. But there are many words which may be regarded as means or processes, or, figuratively, as instruments; and whether with or by shall be used with them is a matter of arbitrary, and often, of unsettled usage; as, to a reduce a town by famine; to consume stubble with fire; he gained his purpose by flattery; he entertained them with a story; he distressed us with or by a recital of his sufferings. see With. [1913 Webster] By all means, most assuredly; without fail; certainly. By and by. (a) Close together (of place). [Obs.] "Two yonge knightes liggyng [lying] by and by." --Chaucer. (b) Immediately; at once. [Obs.] "When . . . persecution ariseth because of the word, by and by he is offended." --Matt. xiii. 21. (c) Presently; pretty soon; before long. Note: In this phrase, by seems to be used in the sense of nearness in time, and to be repeated for the sake of emphasis, and thus to be equivalent to "soon, and soon," that is instantly; hence, -- less emphatically, -- pretty soon, presently. By one's self, with only one's self near; alone; solitary. By the bye. See under Bye. By the head (Naut.), having the bows lower than the stern; -- said of a vessel when her head is lower in the water than her stern. If her stern is lower, she is by the stern. By the lee, the situation of a vessel, going free, when she has fallen off so much as to bring the wind round her stern, and to take her sails aback on the other side. By the run, to let go by the run, to let go altogether, instead of slacking off. By the way, by the bye; -- used to introduce an incidental or secondary remark or subject. Day by day, One by one, Piece by piece, etc., each day, each one, each piece, etc., by itself singly or separately; each severally. To come by, to get possession of; to obtain. To do by, to treat, to behave toward. To set by, to value, to esteem. To stand by, to aid, to support. [1913 Webster] Note: The common phrase good-by is equivalent to farewell, and would be better written good-bye, as it is a corruption of God be with you (b'w'ye). [1913 Webster]