1. with the head foremost; headfirst: to plunge headlong into the water.
  2. without delay; hastily: to plunge headlong into work.
  3. without deliberation; rashly: to rush headlong into battle.


  1. undertaken quickly and suddenly; made precipitately; hasty: a headlong flight.
  2. rash; impetuous: a headlong denunciation.
  3. done or going with the head foremost: a headlong dive into the pool.

adverb, adjective

  1. with the head foremost; headfirst
  2. with great haste


  1. archaic (of slopes, etc) very steep; precipitous

late 14c., in phrase by headlong, from hed “head” (see head (n.)) + adverbial suffix -ling. Altered by folk etymology on pattern of sidelong, etc.

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