The highest-ranking chief; the big chief; capo di tutti capi: Head of all the heads, you understand my meaning? (1970s+)
- Head off at the pass
verb phrase To forestall or prevent by anticipation: A single mother has to establish control fast, before the coercive cycle builds. You have to head it off at the pass [1930s+; fr the stock situation in western movies, where typically the leader of a force pursuing thieves or rustlers through rough ground declares, ”We’ll head […]
noun 1. the person who holds the highest position in a national government: a meeting of heads of state.
- Head of steam
noun phrase Full speed and impetus: Stephanopoulos acknowledges a steady series of peaks and valleys: ”You get up a head of steam and then—oops! What’s coming around the corner?” [1835+; the date refers to the actual boiler pressure of a machine]
- Head of the river