Definition of deadhead in English:


Pronunciation /ˈdedhed/ /ˈdɛdhɛd/

See synonyms for deadhead on

Translate deadhead into Spanish


  • 1

    (also Deadhead)
    A fan and follower of the rock group the Grateful Dead.

    as modifier ‘the Deadhead hard core shadows the band, selling tie-dyes and beads’
    • ‘The editor is a reference librarian who also coauthored with David Dodd The Grateful Dead and the Deadheads: An Annotated Bibliography.’
    • ‘There was an especially loud contingent of people down front, who apparently follow him from concert to concert, a la the Grateful Dead's Deadheads.’
    • ‘The Deadheads gave the Grateful Dead a steady revenue stream and a safe harbor.’
    • ‘Any fan of the Grateful Dead can be termed a Deadhead.’
    • ‘Grateful Dreams will no doubt appeal to Deadheads who have an interest in this man who contributed a few years to the band.’
    • ‘This is not such a stretch, considering Ranaldo's upbringing as a Deadhead who got turned on to alternate tunings through Joni Mitchell and Neil Young records.’
    • ‘Perhaps the most popular feature of the official Grateful Dead site is ‘DeadNet Central,’ a bulletin board service where Deadheads exchange information and debate about any and all topics.’
    • ‘Part of touring for me was meeting fellow Deadheads from around the country.’
    • ‘If you hang around with Deadheads long enough, eventually you will hear them talk about this book, or you will see it on their bookshelves.’
    • ‘Through the songs and their shared point of view the Deadheads are keeping alive an outlook on how to live life to its fullest.’
    • ‘The second disc contains material culled from various shows in 1966, and even the seasoned Deadhead should find something surprising.’
    • ‘The community also became a haven for Deadheads seeking news on the Grateful Dead.’
    • ‘As for the fans, well, I once heard an interviewer ask Jerry Garcia how he felt about all of these Deadheads putting all of their time, energy, and money into the Grateful Dead.’
    • ‘The Deadhead attachment remains, for the most part, cool.’
    • ‘Adams designed a course based on attending a series of Grateful Dead concerts, and then having the students conduct a sociological analysis of the Deadheads.’
    • ‘Simultaneously, they have become a large demographic, the next generation of the Deadheads.’
    • ‘There are J. Garcia carpets that my mother would be happy to have in her house, and she's not a Deadhead.’
    • ‘I was a Deadhead from the first day Hamilton played them for me in school, and I always will be.’
    • ‘It did not take me long to become a true tie-dyed Deadhead, and in fact I have often wondered why I was such a late arrival.’
    • ‘One of the nicest, friendliest, and most fun concerts I have ever seen, and about as different in atmosphere from a modern Dead show as you could imagine - except, of course, that almost all the audience were Deadheads.’
  • 2informal, derogatory A boring or unenterprising person.

    • ‘When I was in high school, the students fell into many different groups: preps, jocks, cheerleaders, punks, deadheads, druggies, geeks, and all the rest.’
    • ‘I've been writing about Wez in my journal lately, the deadhead who lives downstairs from me and Adam.’
    • ‘The idea that liberalism is something confined to a few deadheads on the coasts is a shibboleth.’
    • ‘Guess if everything went smoothly all the time we'd all be deadheads like Yevy accused me of being.’
    • ‘You were a total deadhead in their eyes - and you knew that, too.’
    • ‘Weir reminds us of the power of each person: ‘If every deadhead in the state of Florida had voted in the last election, it would be a very different world today.’’
    • ‘Maybe a vengeful sibling of some deadhead kid who decided to try and abuse a program I had a hand in?’
    • ‘She seemed perfectly content to sit there and jaw away with this deadhead for the rest of the night if she had to.’
    • ‘We are left to speculate the girl is just a deadhead, and in her indecision, powers on, deciding to live in the future, never looking back.’
    • ‘She was stunned that her layabout deadhead son could produce such sensitive pieces and she was very encouraging.’
  • 3North American A passenger or member of an audience with a free ticket.

    ‘I just wanted to let you all know we have announced our deadhead ticket giveaway.’
    • ‘He begins traveling all around the country as a "deadhead" -- riding free on competitors' airliners -- passing checks, and working toward a goal more unrealistic than he realizes: he wants to reconcile his parents.’
    1. 3.1US informal A commercial carrier with no paying passengers or freight on a trip.
      • ‘In addition, carriers are playing ‘musical chairs,’ replacing existing customers and lanes with opportunities that minimize deadhead miles and increase overall profitability.’
      • ‘Passenger miles exclude travel to and from storage facilities, training operations, road tests and deadhead travel, as well as school bus and charter service.’
      • ‘Seemingly doomed to playing the sticks, Osius prepared to pack up his eye-goggling togs and catch the deadhead milk-run back to Wisconsin.’
  • 4A sunken or partially submerged log.

    ‘Another hazard to keep in mind during the pre-spawn is deadheads under the water.’
    • ‘Many "deadheads" can be seen sticking out of the water, and some caution needs to be taken to avoid submerged ones if you are paddling close to the shore.’


  • 1North American informal no object (of a commercial driver, etc.) complete a trip without paying passengers or freight.

    • ‘trucks deadheading into California to pick up outbound loads’
    • ‘The weekend was a fine one for the spare board, with engines and trains deadheading back and forth making it even better.’
    • ‘He was expressing anger that the deadheading train passed him by.’
    • ‘The train deadheaded to Vancouver and I understand the mucky mucks will board in the morning and head south sometime after 08:00 today towards Seattle.’
    • ‘The train was unique in that Ashland was the last stop, following which the train deadheaded back to Camden.’
    • ‘This was our SUNSET LIMITED, deadheading from Sanford and headed somewhere south of Orlando to be wyed.’
    • ‘If you're traveling one way, expect to pay for the empty car to deadhead home.’
    • ‘The train was ready after its 5 minute station time but was held another 15 minutes for a deadheading CSX Office Car Special that was pulling into Savannah on another platform track.’
    1. 1.1US Ride (in a plane or other vehicle) without paying for a ticket.
      • ‘he calls his airline and gets a seat on the red-eye to deadhead to Boston’
      • ‘That was all right though, cause I didn't have a back haul lined up and I couldn't afford to deadhead back to Pittsburgh.’
      • ‘We often deadhead (fly as passengers) to our next assignment.’
      • ‘We deadheaded to Russell, where we were relieved.’
      • ‘So this morning, early, we deadheaded home in a van.’
      • ‘On Sunday evening, I deadheaded on a flight to Seattle and had a scheduled arrival time of 8:04 PM.’
  • 2with object Remove dead flower heads from (a plant) to encourage further blooming.

    ‘Young plants should be deadheaded after flowering so that the energy they would have spent on fruit or seed then goes into more shoots.’
    • ‘To keep annuals blooming at the peak of their ability, deadhead regularly.’
    • ‘Gardeners require space in the beds so that they can weed, deadhead and prune.’
    • ‘As you water, weed and deadhead, get to know your plants.’
    • ‘It seems anathema to most gardeners to go against their natural instincts to prune, train, stake, deadhead, divide and generally fuss on the plants in their gardens.’
    • ‘The colors should be restful, and the plantings should be such that you don't enter the space seeking a rest and then find yourself forever leaping up to pull a weed or deadhead something.’
    • ‘In the annual and perennial border it is often enough to just deadhead plants, trim back spent foliage and remove the odd weed to free up your favourites.’
    • ‘Capon deadheads plants once a month, pruning out stray branches and keeping plants compact.’
    • ‘Finally, be sure to deadhead faded or drooping blossoms and leaves.’
    • ‘But it's definitely high maintenance, with something always needing thinning, pruning, deadheading, dividing, or pampering.’
    • ‘Anything that blooms now gets immediately deadheaded.’
    • ‘Does the idea of planting some superb container plants that don't require deadheading or pruning sound appealing to you?’
    • ‘Pansies are ideal and will flower for many weeks with regular feeding, watering and deadheading.’
    • ‘You'll also want to deadhead all your begonias regularly; removing wilted leaves and flowers encourages them to produce more blooms.’
    • ‘You need to deadhead for exactly the same reasons you need a good haircut: health and volume.’
    • ‘Always avoid breaking off any of the small growth buds below the flowers when you are deadheading.’
    • ‘Keep the spent clusters deadheaded and this shrub will bloom into the fall.’
    • ‘The more you pick and deadhead, the longer the plants produce flowers.’
    • ‘In addition, deadheading spent blossoms regularly will encourage further blooming.’
    • ‘After the first frost in your area, stop deadheading and cutting flowers (unless they're so spectacular you just can't resist).’