a heading in a newspaper for any written material, sometimes for an illustration, to indicate subject matter, set in larger type than that of the copy and containing one or more words and lines and often several banks.
the largest such heading on the front page, usually at the top.
the line at the top of a page, containing the title, pagination, etc.
1676, from head + line. Originally a printers' term for the line at the top of a page containing the title and page number; used of newspapers from 1890, and transferred unthinkingly to broadcast media. Headlinese "language peculiar to headlines" is from 1927.