head off

(redirected from head them off)

(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 ?
"They were running along a grassy patch and I thought I would just canter down the middle of it and head them off. I came out level with the guy who was being chased and he looked a bit shocked and puzzled and I sort of headed him off.
Now they are being advised to head them off by putting piles of twigs among trees for the marauders to gnaw at.
If he negotiates the opening turns without any hassle, he can warm to the task down the far side and come through to head them off at the third turn.
What is needed is ongoing strategic initiative to identify potentially serious problems and spend a little money to head them off before they happen -- not years later.
BIRMINGHAM last night stepped up their bid to snatch Steve Bruce as manager - but Crystal Palace moved quickly to head them off by promising to match any offer from St Andrews.
If she manages to turn in a menacing position off the second bend, she can up the tempo down the farside and come through to head them off approaching the third turn.
He should lead up Blarney Fergie to control the outside, and can make a decisive move down the back to head them off approaching the third turn.