head off


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Related to head off: head out

(one's) head off

Very intensely or loudly; with no restraint, hesitation, or inhibition. (Used after verbs associated with speech sounds, such as "yell," talk," "laugh," etc.) I'm telling you, Mark's boyfriend is hilarious! He had me laughing my head off when I met him. Suzy started yelling her head off when I told her she couldn't have an ice cream cone. A: "So, has Noah started saying any words yet?" B: "And then some—he's been talking his head off for months now!"
See also: head, off

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 ?
"I mean you see one jumping out in front of you screaming in your face, I'd slap the head off him.
"But I have a feeling that John will punch the head off him because he has improved with age."
The first time that us brothers came to see this, we were just a couple of boys getting ready to chop the head off of a fish.
Lunchtime is the cut-off point for work and, after a quick snack, we head off as a family for a walk in the Vale of Glamorgan, or make for the coast.
Love conquers all in the end, when Junice and Melissa head off to Memphis to live with a distant relative and Damien runs off to go with them.
It's also a good idea to go ahead and replace all those old external valves now to head off problems later.
Schools need to tackle the problem to keep kids safe and head off potential lawsuits.
Knowledge of where one can or cannot fly is paramount and can head off potential diplomatic embarrassments.
FIREWORKS with the potential to "blow the head off" anyone setting light to them were seized yesterday in a raid in Merseyside.
Elephant Prince does not recount the commonest version of Ganesh's origin, in which Parvati creates a child from earth and her husband Shiva is so surprised by the stranger he cuts the boy's head off; instead, Elephant Prince draws upon a classic Indian text entitled "Brahma Vaivarta Purana" to present a version in which Parvati wishes for a child and to her delight has her wish granted, yet tragedy strikes when the god Shani (Saturn) accidentally destroys the child's head, for whatever powerful Shani gazes upon is instantly obliterated.
One common problem, the authors say, is that "people tend to hold positive illusions that lead us to interpret events in an egocentric manner and to undervalue risks." Moreover, managers are usually reluctant to invest to prevent vague and distant problems, and tend to preserve the status quo instead of accepting the large-scale change that may be needed to head off looming troubles.
To head off such reactions, the NTP's new Report on Carcinogens points out that many of the listed carcinogens, including some drugs, offer society substantial benefits and urges people not to eschew such agents without consulting a doctor or other expert.
Companies could be planning to introduce "love contracts" to head off any problems caused by staff striking up relationships at work, the TUC has claimed.
During an ejection or other mishap, "if the (system) is improperly connected, it could rip your head off."
ANDY JENKINS, one of the most improved players in darts this year, faces top seed John Part at the Stan James World Matchplay in Blackpool tonight vowing to "rip his head off".