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[hed-lahy-ner] /ˈhɛdˌlaɪ nər/
a performer whose name appears most prominently in a program or advertisement or on a marquee; star.
Origin of headliner
1890-95; headline + -er1 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for headliner
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Eight meetings announced him as headliner, with Cooper Union as the climax.

    The Dual Alliance Marjorie Benton Cooke
  • They called Eric from private life to be headliner in their vaudeville.

    In a Little Town Rupert Hughes
  • The chills were running up and down my spine in our cold apartment, but this headliner froze me stiff.

    Germany in War Time Mary Ethel McAuley
  • He was only nineteen when he joined the club and was a headliner from the start.

    Pitching in a Pinch Christy Mathewson
  • Why must the headliner always be a talking or a singing person who tells you how much money he needs, or how much she is getting?

    Adventures in the Arts Marsden Hartley
British Dictionary definitions for headliner


a performer given prominent billing; star
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for headliner

1891, "one who writes newspaper headlines;" 1896 as "one who stars in a performance;" from headline + -er (1).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for headliner



The main or chief performer; main attraction: She was the headliner last week at the Seven Seas (1896+ Show business)

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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