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.
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   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.
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   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.
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   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).
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            The heads of the chief sects of philosophy.
                                                  --Tillotson.
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            Your head I him appoint.              --Milton.
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   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.
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            An army of fourscore thousand troops, with the duke
            of Marlborough at the head of them.   --Addison.
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   6. Each one among many; an individual; -- often used in a
      plural sense; as, a thousand head of cattle.
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            It there be six millions of people, there are about
            four acres for every head.            --Graunt.
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   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.
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            Men who had lost both head and heart. --Macaulay.
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   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.
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   9. A headland; a promontory; as, Gay Head. --Shak.
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   10. A separate part, or topic, of a discourse; a theme to be
       expanded; a subdivision; as, the heads of a sermon.
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   11. Culminating point or crisis; hence, strength; force;
       height.
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             Ere foul sin, gathering head, shall break into
             corruption.                          --Shak.
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             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.
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   12. Power; armed force.
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             My lord, my lord, the French have gathered head.
                                                  --Shak.
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   13. A headdress; a covering of the head; as, a laced head; a
       head of hair. --Swift.
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   14. An ear of wheat, barley, or of one of the other small
       cereals.
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   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.
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   16. The antlers of a deer.
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   17. A rounded mass of foam which rises on a pot of beer or
       other effervescing liquor. --Mortimer.
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   18. pl. Tiles laid at the eaves of a house. --Knight.
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   Note: Head is often used adjectively or in self-explaining
         combinations; as, head gear or headgear, head rest. Cf.
         Head, a.
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   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.
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.

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.
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            By foundation or by shady rivulet
            He sought them both.                  --Milton.
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   2. On; along; in traversing. Compare 5.
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            Long labors both by sea and land he bore. --Dryden.
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            By land, by water, they renew the charge. --Pope.
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   3. Near to, while passing; hence, from one to the other side
      of; past; as, to go by a church.
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   4. Used in specifying adjacent dimensions; as, a cabin twenty
      feet by forty.
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   5. Against. [Obs.] --Tyndale [1. Cor. iv. 4].
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   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.
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   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.
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   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.
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   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.
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   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.
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   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).
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