What does overhead mean?

Definitions for overhead
ˈoʊ vərˈhɛd; ˈoʊ vərˌhɛdover·head

Here are all the possible meanings and translations of the word overhead.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. operating expense, operating cost, overhead, budget items(noun)

    the expense of maintaining property (e.g., paying property taxes and utilities and insurance); it does not include depreciation or the cost of financing or income taxes

  2. command processing overhead time, command processing overhead, command overhead, overhead(noun)

    (computer science) the processing time required by a device prior to the execution of a command

  3. disk overhead, overhead(noun)

    (computer science) the disk space required for information that is not data but is used for location and timing

  4. viewgraph, overhead(noun)

    a transparency for use with an overhead projector

  5. overhead(noun)

    (nautical) the top surface of an enclosed space on a ship

  6. overhead, smash(adj)

    a hard return hitting the tennis ball above your head

  7. overhead(adverb)

    located or originating from above

    "an overhead crossing"

  8. overhead(adverb)

    above your head; in the sky

    "planes were flying overhead"

  9. overhead(adverb)

    above the head; over the head

    "bring the legs together overhead"


  1. overhead(n.)

    same as overhead expenses.

  2. overhead(n.)

    A compartment on a train, bus, or airplane used for storage of luggage or accessory equipment; called also overhead compartment.

  3. overhead(n.)

    (Sports) A stroke with a racket in which the ball is struck with the racket over the head, moving in a downward motion; also called overhead stroke.


  1. overhead(Noun)

    The expense of a business not directly assigned to goods or services provided.

  2. overhead(Noun)

    The items or classes of expense not directly assigned to goods or services provided.

  3. overhead

    Any cost or expenditure (monetary, time, effort or otherwise) incurred in a project or activity, which does not directly contribute to the progress or outcome of the project or activity.

  4. overhead

    Wasted money.

  5. overhead

    A smash.

  6. overhead

    The ceiling of any enclosed space below decks in a vessel

  7. overhead

    The system of overhead wires used to power electric transport, such as streetcars, trains, or buses.

  8. overhead

    data or steps of computation that is only used to facilitate the computations in the system and is not directly related to the actual program code or data being processed.

    Network overhead is the header data that is required to route and transport data over network, whereas fork overhead is the additional time and memory cost of creating and managing new processes within operating system.

  9. overhead

    An overhead throw.

  10. overhead(Noun)

    An overhead projector.

  11. overhead(Noun)

    A sheet of transparent material with an image used with an overhead projector; an overhead transparency.

  12. overhead(Adverb)

    above one's head;in the sky

    Birds flying overhead.

  13. overhead(Adjective)

    located above, especially over the head

    Place your luggage in the overhead bins.

  14. overhead(Adjective)

    of, or relating to the operating expenses of a business

    They tried to reduce overhead costs.

  15. overhead

    kicked over one's own head


  1. Overhead

    In business, overhead or overhead expense refers to an ongoing expense of operating a business; it is also known as an "operating expense". Examples include rent, gas, electricity, and wages. The term overhead is usually used when grouping expenses that are necessary to the continued functioning of the business but cannot be immediately associated with the products or services being offered. Closely related accounting concepts are fixed costs and variable costs as well as indirect costs and direct costs. Overhead expenses are all costs on the income statement except for direct labour, direct materials, and direct expenses. Overhead expenses include accounting fees, advertising, depreciation, insurance, interest, legal fees, rent, repairs, supplies, taxes, telephone bills, travel expenditures, and utilities.

Chambers 20th Century Dictionary

  1. Overhead

    ō′vėr-hed, adv. over the head: aloft: in the zenith: per head.—adj. situated above.

Editors Contribution

  1. overhead

    A true account of the management cost of a business, company, enterprise, agency or organization.

    They needed to include the overhead costs of the business as part of their tender.

    Submitted by MaryC on March 10, 2020  

How to pronounce overhead?

  1. Alex
    US English

How to say overhead in sign language?

  1. overhead


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of overhead in Chaldean Numerology is: 8

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of overhead in Pythagorean Numerology is: 6

Examples of overhead in a Sentence

  1. Virgin Australia:

    These ducts run up the side of the fuselage to overhead vents, in the space where a window of seat 9A would normally be, to then deliver air conditioning throughout the cabin via overhead vents.

  2. Ocean City:

    When East Coast Falcons professionals fly the raptors overhead, gulls know instinctively to leave an unsafe place, professional falconry-based bird abatement is a humane, effective solution for removing nuisance birds.

  3. Jeff Annison and Paul Scanlan:

    For the investors, we believe it’s a terrific time. There will be overhead of getting up to speed on the new portals, but early-adopter investors will have opportunities that may not be available as equity crowdfunding becomes more mainstream, plus the chance to gain experience that will serve them will as the ecosystem grows.

  4. John Avalos:

    It’s about them crashing and hitting a building — a place where people live, it’s about the terror that they cause in people when they strafe neighborhoods. That’s something I hear about all the time when Blue Angels fly overhead.

  5. Flavio Volpe:

    I do my best work when the bullets are flying overhead.

Images & Illustrations of overhead

  1. overheadoverheadoverheadoverheadoverhead

Popularity rank by frequency of use


Translations for overhead

From our Multilingual Translation Dictionary

  • فوقArabic
  • Überkopf-, oben, allgemeine Unkosten, darüber, Mehraufwand, Overhead, vergeudetes GeldGerman
  • gastos generalesSpanish
  • pään, kiinteät, päällä, yläpuolella, oleva, kustannukset, yläpuolinen, taivaallaFinnish
  • frais généreuxFrench
  • fix költség, felső, rezsiHungarian
  • 間接費, オーバーヘッドJapanese
  • overheadNorwegian
  • narzutPolish
  • наверху, накладные расходы, накладнойRussian
  • fiksni trošak, hladni pogonSerbo-Croatian
  • overheadSwedish
  • havada, başın üstünde, yukarıda, başdan yukarıda, genel giderler, genel giderlerle ilgili, boşa harcanan paraTurkish
  • Chinese

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