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[hed-kwawr-terz, -kwaw-] /ˈhɛdˌkwɔr tərz, -ˌkwɔ-/
noun, plural headquarters. (used with a singular or plural verb)
a center of operations, as of the police or a business, from which orders are issued; the chief administrative office of an organization:
The operatives were always in touch with headquarters.
the offices or working location of a military commander; the place from which a commander customarily issues orders.
a military unit consisting of the commander, his staff, and other assistants.
Origin of headquarters
1640-50; head + quarters
Related forms
subheadquarters, noun, plural subheadquarters.


[hed-kwawr-ter, -kwaw-] /ˈhɛdˌkwɔr tər, -ˌkwɔ-/
verb (used with object)
to situate in headquarters.
verb (used without object)
to establish one's headquarters.
back formation from headquarters Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for headquarters
  • The parents of many of the students here work for the multinational firms with headquarters in the glossy high-rises nearby.
  • Once you learn how to read you can competently read a novel, a newspaper article, or the latest memo from corporate headquarters.
  • Library buildings were converted into computer labs, study spaces, and headquarters for information-technology departments.
  • Industry bosses lobby the summiteers from their headquarters in a nearby luxury hotel.
  • The hotel is located near several major corporate headquarters and is especially handy for business travelers.
  • She won a storm of publicity and a shamefaced invitation to the firm's headquarters.
  • The site of the new headquarters has not yet been agreed.
  • He had dreamed of building apartment complexes, corporate headquarters, modernist town halls.
  • The police make occasional schedules of a few and report them to headquarters.
  • Even visiting the school's headquarters tests one's nerves.
British Dictionary definitions for headquarters


plural noun (sometimes functioning as sing)
any centre or building from which operations are directed, as in the military, the police, etc
a military formation comprising the commander, his staff, and supporting echelons
Abbreviations HQ, h.q.


(informal, mainly US) to place in or establish as headquarters
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 headquarters

1640s, from head (adj.) + quarters. Headquarter as a verb is recorded from 1903.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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