head start

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head start

1. A start time for some competition, especially a race, before the official start time for the other competitors. Officials ruled that the runner had a head start because his feet left their mark two seconds before the starting gun had fired. I always lose at hide-and-seek, so the other kids gave me a head start to go hide.
2. An earlier start time (for some task or activity) than is typical or necessary. Billy liked to have a head start on his homework before leaving school so he had more time to play with his friends when he got home. If I don't get a head start on the project, I'm going to miss the deadline.
3. An advantage that makes it easier to complete or succeed in some task or activity. It's come to light that this applicant has gotten a head start in the hiring process—his portfolio was moved straight to the short list of candidates by a friend on the selection committee. It always feels like kids who come from wealthy families get a head start in life. Or maybe I'm just bitter because I have so much student loan debt.
See also: head, start
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2022 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

* a head start (on something)

an early start on something [before someone else starts]. (*Typically: get ~ have ~ give someone ~.) I was able to get a head start on my reading during the holidays. If I hadn't had a head start, I'd be behind in my reading.
See also: head, start

* a head start (on something)

an early start on something, [before someone else starts]. (*Typically: get ~ have ~ give someone ~.) I was able to get a head start on my reading during the holidays. If I hadn't had a head start, I'd be behind in my reading.
See also: head, start
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

head start

An early start that confers an advantage, as in This year we'll get a head start on the competition by running more ads. The expression comes from racing, where it was used for a horse being given an advantage of several lengths over the others. Its extension to other areas dates from the early 1900s.
See also: head, start
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer. Copyright © 2003, 1997 by The Christine Ammer 1992 Trust. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

a ˌhead ˈstart (on/over somebody)

an advantage that somebody already has before they start doing something: Being able to speak French gave her a head start over the other candidates.
See also: head, start
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017
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