"You canker blossom!" 3 Shakespearean Insults


[hed-lawng, -long] /ˈhɛdˌlɔŋ, -ˌlɒŋ/
with the head foremost; headfirst:
to plunge headlong into the water.
without delay; hastily:
to plunge headlong into work.
without deliberation; rashly:
to rush headlong into battle.
undertaken quickly and suddenly; made precipitately; hasty:
a headlong flight.
rash; impetuous:
a headlong denunciation.
done or going with the head foremost:
a headlong dive into the pool.
Origin of headlong
1350-1400; Middle English hedlong, earlier hedling. See head, -ling2
Related forms
headlongness, noun
Can be confused
headlong, headstrong. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for headlong
  • The last thing you want to do is plunge headlong into a story that does not give him the information he is seeking.
  • They are a franchise that spent lavishly in a headlong quest to get what it wanted.
  • So they rushed headlong into new trouble by attacking the foreigners and their legations.
  • With staunch academic discipline they've plunged headlong into the fundamental physics of ram acceleration.
  • Once they find such a plume, they fly headlong into it, tracking it back to its blood-filled source.
  • And to sustain it, these firms will have to plunge headlong into products they know little about, such as mortgages.
  • Yet the headlong expansion continues, either through the opening of yet more new stores or through a rash of takeovers.
  • The book is a form of meditation, written with a headlong urgency, about seeing.
  • After an early career that racked up notable courtroom victories, he has plunged headlong into cases that he knows are unwinnable.
  • There goes a horse into a deep hole and his rider falls headlong out of the saddle.
British Dictionary definitions for headlong


adverb, adjective
with the head foremost; headfirst
with great haste
(archaic) (of slopes, etc) very steep; precipitous
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 headlong

late 14c., in phrase by headlong, from hed "head" (see head (n.)) + adverbial suffix -ling. Altered by folk etymology on pattern of sidelong, etc.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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