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From head + word. Compare West Frisian haadwurd (“noun, substantive, headword”), Dutch hoofdwoord (“headword”), German Hauptwort (“noun, substantive, headword”), Swedish huvudord (“headword, keyword”).
headword (plural headwords)
- a word used as the title of a section, particularly in a dictionary, encyclopedia, or thesaurus
- (grammar) any word which may be modified by an adjunct
- In "a very discerning car shopper", "shopper" is the headword.
- (grammar): head
a word used as the title of a section