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headlong

[hed-lawng, -long] /ˈhɛdˌlɔŋ, -ˌlɒŋ/
adverb
1.
with the head foremost; headfirst:
to plunge headlong into the water.
2.
without delay; hastily:
to plunge headlong into work.
3.
without deliberation; rashly:
to rush headlong into battle.
adjective
4.
undertaken quickly and suddenly; made precipitately; hasty:
a headlong flight.
5.
rash; impetuous:
a headlong denunciation.
6.
done or going with the head foremost:
a headlong dive into the pool.
Origin of headlong
1350-1400
1350-1400; Middle English hedlong, earlier hedling. See head, -ling2
Related forms
headlongness, noun
Can be confused
headlong, headstrong.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for headlong
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Grief, when it attains this shape, is a headlong flight of all the forces of the conscience.

    Les Misrables Victor Hugo
  • There Prince Rupert charged with headlong fury, carrying all before him.

    English Villages P. H. Ditchfield
  • So far as external evidence goes, the student is now in possession of all that is known about the author of "headlong Hall."

    Pot-Boilers Clive Bell
  • Then up the road came riding some of the King's men at headlong speed.

  • Then there came the headlong plunge into the swirling sea, followed by an indefinite period of gasping oblivion.

British Dictionary definitions for headlong

headlong

/ˈhɛdˌlɒŋ/
adverb, adjective
1.
with the head foremost; headfirst
2.
with great haste
adjective
3.
(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
adv.

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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