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Etymology 1[edit]

From Middle English hedling, hevedling, from Old English hēafodling (an equal, fellow-servant), equivalent to head +‎ -ling. Cognate with German Häuptling (chief, chieftain).


headling (plural headlings)

  1. (obsolete) An equal; a fellow; mate.
  2. (obsolete) A chieftain.

Etymology 2[edit]

From Middle English hedling, heedling, hevedlynge (headlong), equivalent to head +‎ -ling; and with adverbial genitive -s, -es, hedlinges, hedlynges, equivalent to headling +‎ -s. Cognate with Scots heidlingis (headlong), Middle High German houbetlingen (headlong).

Alternative forms[edit]


headling (comparative more headling, superlative most headling)

  1. Headlong; precipitately.