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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, rare) An equal; a fellow; mate.
  2. (obsolete, rare) 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.