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head +‎ room


headroom (countable and uncountable, plural headrooms)

  1. The vertical clearance above someone's head, as in a tunnel, doorway etc.
  2. The vertical measurement, top to bottom, for example for clearance under a bridge.
    • 1960 April, G. F. Fiennes, “Unpunctuality - the cause and the cure”, in Trains Illustrated, page 244:
      With a rare and beautiful ease one can now ring up a boffin, as I did the other day, and say: "As a price for not opposing our Parliamentary Powers for a new marshalling yard, the Council at X demands that the bridge over X Lane shall have 16 ft. 6 in. headroom. This means steepening our gradient from 1 in 70 to 1 in 65 for half a mile on a 20-chain curve. What difference will this make to the loads of Type "2", "3" and "4" diesels please?". Back comes the answer.
    • 1963 April, “Chepstow Bridge is rebuilt”, in Modern Railways, page 265, photo caption:
      The new bridge (6) gives headroom of 13ft at high tide, sufficient for present-day river traffic.
  3. (electronics) The ability of a system to reproduce loud sounds free of distortion; dynamic headroom.
    • 2000, Wolfgang Ahnert, Frank Steffen, Sound Reinforcement Engineering: Fundamentals and Practice (page 177)
      [] the difference between signal-to-noise ratio and overload reserve (headroom) as well as noise (safety) margin (footroom).
  4. The distance between the actual performance of an algorithm and its maximum possible performance.

Coordinate terms[edit]