head off


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Related to head off: head out

head off

1. To try to stop something from happening. In this usage, a noun or pronoun can be used between "head" and "off." I'm calling the editor now to head off this story before they print it.
2. To intercept or seize someone or something. In this usage, a noun or pronoun can be used between "head" and "off." Can you head mom off before she comes home and catches us having a party here?
3. To leave for a particular place. Louise just headed off to the store, but you can probably still catch her, if you leave now.
See also: head, off

head someone or something off

Fig. to intercept and divert someone or something. I think I can head her off before she reaches the police station. I hope we can head off trouble. We can head it off. Have no fear.
See also: head, off

head off

Block the progress or completion of; also, intercept. For example, They worked round the clock to head off the flu epidemic, or Try to head him off before he gets home. [First half of 1800s] This expression gave rise to head someone off at the pass, which in Western films meant "to block someone at a mountain pass." It then became a general colloquialism for intercepting someone, as in Jim is going to the boss's office-let's head him off at the pass.
See also: head, off

head off

v.
1. To depart for some destination: She's heading off to New York City next week. He headed off for the mountains for his annual vacation.
2. To intercept or divert someone or something: Try to head them off before they get home. The sheriff headed off the gangsters at the pass.
3. To block the progress or completion of something: The town headed off the attempt to build another mall. The city council wanted to pass a restrictive zoning ordinance, but the mayor headed them off.
See also: head, off
References in periodicals archive ?
Monique McKevitt, defending, said biting the head off a pigeon was "clearly an unnacceptable and repulsive act".
A tattooed yob bit the head off his girlfriend's gerbil after she attacked his goldfish during a row.
Paul Gascoigne reckons England skipper Alan Shearer will be laughing his head off at the hype surrounding the incident in which he is alleged to have kicked Leicester midfielder Neil Lennon in the face.
Local fire station officer Graham Richardson, who was called to the scene in Sale, Cheshire, said: "The barrier was only a few inches away from taking her head off.
The Green Party's Ciaran Cuffe said: "To advocate blowing the head off someone sends all the wrong signals.
30pm, will serve as a warm-up for the Easter Road club before they head off to Finland on a four-match summer tour.
Attorneys for an heir to the Max Factor cosmetics fortune who is charged with a series of rapes are working on a deal that might head off a high-profile trial.
I would do exactly the same - although I probably wouldn't go as far as blowing someone's head off.
But homeowners can head off potential problems by taking advantage of ImproveNet's Contract Review service, which ensures that all the expectations of both parties are clearly spelled out before both are locked into a vague document that engenders unrealistic expectations.
Earlier on the pitch, he refused to take the owl head off despite pleas from paramedics.
I'm not proud of biting the head off a bat or biting the head off a dove.
volunteers will head off to one of seven projects taking place simultaneously throughout the day.
My sole intent going into the fight with Wladimir was to rip his head off and I was training very aggressively.
The Forest Service has activated what it calls a BAER team - or Burned Area Emergency Rehabilitation - to study the effects of the fire on the watershed and to recommend actions to reduce erosion and head off property damage.