- over one’s head; aloft; up in the air or sky, especially near the zenith: There was a cloud overhead.
- so as to be completely submerged or deeply involved: to plunge overhead in water; to sink overhead in debt.
- situated, operating, or passing above, aloft, or over the head: an overhead sprinkler system.
- of or relating to the general cost of running a business: overhead expenses; an overhead charge.
- the general, fixed cost of running a business, as rent, lighting, and heating expenses, which cannot be charged or attributed to a specific product or part of the work operation.
- Accounting. that part of manufacturing costs for which cost per unit produced is not readily assignable.
- (in a hoistway) the distance between the last floor level served and the beam supporting the hoisting sheaves or machinery.
- (in racket sports) a stroke in which the ball or shuttlecock is hit with a downward motion from above the head; smash.
- an overhead compartment, shelf, etc.: Pillows are in the overhead above each passenger’s seat.
- Also called overhead shot. Movies, Television. a shot in which the camera is positioned above the actors, especially directly overhead.
- a ceiling light in a room: Turn off the overheads when you leave.
- Also called overhead projector. a projector capable of projecting images above and behind the person operating it, thus allowing a lecturer or speaker to remain facing the audience while using it.
- Also called overhead projection. a picture or image projected in this manner: a lecture enhanced with overheads.
- situated or operating above head height or some other reference level
- (prenominal) inclusivethe overhead price included meals
- over or above head height, esp in the sky
- a stroke in racket games played from above head height
- (as modifier)an overhead smash
- nautical the interior lining above one’s head below decks in a vessel
- short for overhead door
- (modifier) of, concerned with, or resulting from overheadsoverhead costs
1530s, “above one’s head” (adv.), from over- + head. The adjective is attested from 1874. As a noun, short for overhead costs, etc., it is attested from 1914. All costs of running a business other than wages paid to production workers or payments for raw material to be used in production. Overhead includes the cost of renting or leasing a store in which business is transacted, the cost of heating a factory, and similar expenses.