- a person who attends a performance, sports event, etc., or travels on a train, airplane, etc., without having paid for a ticket, especially a person using a complimentary ticket or free pass.
- a train, railroad car, airplane, truck, or other commercial vehicle while operating empty, as when returning to a terminal.
- a stupid or boring person; dullard.
- Metallurgy. excess metal in the riser of a mold.
- a sunken or partially sunken log.
verb (used with object)
- to transport (someone) as a deadhead.
- to move (an empty commercial vehicle) along a route.
- Horticulture. to remove faded blooms from (ornamental plants), especially in flower gardens, often to help continued blooming.
verb (used without object)
- to act or serve as a deadhead.
- (of a commercial vehicle) to travel without cargo or paying passengers: The train carried coal to Pittsburgh and then deadheaded back to Virginia to pick up another load.
- a dull unenterprising person
- a person who uses a free ticket, as for a train, the theatre, etc
- US and Canadian a train, etc, travelling empty
- US and Canadian a totally or partially submerged log floating in a lake, etc
- (tr) to cut off withered flowers from (a plant)
- (intr) US and Canadian to drive an empty bus, train, etc
by 1974 in sense of “devotee of the rock music band the Grateful Dead;” earlier (with lower-case) “one who rides for free on the railroads” (1866), and “non-paying spectator” (1841).