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 itemsnoun

    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, overheadnoun

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

  3. disk overhead, overheadnoun

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

  4. viewgraph, overheadnoun

    a transparency for use with an overhead projector

  5. overheadnoun

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

  6. overhead, smashadjective

    a hard return hitting the tennis ball above your head

  7. overheadadverb

    located or originating from above

    "an overhead crossing"

  8. overheadadverb

    above your head; in the sky

    "planes were flying overhead"

  9. overheadadverb

    above the head; over the head

    "bring the legs together overhead"


  1. overheadnoun

    same as overhead expenses.

  2. overheadnoun

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

  3. overheadnoun

    (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. overheadnoun

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

  2. overheadnoun

    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. overheadnoun

    An overhead projector.

  11. overheadnoun

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

  12. overheadadverb

    above one's head;in the sky

    Birds flying overhead.

  13. overheadadjective

    located above, especially over the head

    Place your luggage in the overhead bins.

  14. overheadadjective

    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 value of the management cost of a social enterprise or organization

    They require the overhead costs of the social enterprise for accounting purposes

    Submitted by MaryC on March 10, 2020  

How to pronounce overhead?

How to say overhead in sign language?


  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. Yohann Bardoux:

    Of course I'm worried about her, I hope it all comes down soon, and turns out well, they are everywhere. It's really jumping. They've blocked the whole zones, we've got helicopters overhead, the police presence is impressive.

  2. Martin Garside:

    It is incredibly sad - I was literally two feet from this dead whale, it was both poignant and a bit eerie really - road traffic was thundering overhead on the busiest motorway in Britain and oblivious to all the people in the cars and lorries there was a 10-metre long beautiful whale floating dead beneath them.

  3. Jacqueline van Maarsen:

    I was 11 when the Germans invaded Holland. I remember seeing the planes flying overhead and sensing the great agitation of my parents. I thought we might get bombed or we might not get enough food, but the idea that we faced another threat because we were Jewish didn’t even enter my head. My mother was a Parisian Catholic, and although my father had registered us as Jewish in Amsterdam in 1938 — he wanted us to be part of the Jewish community, like the rest of his Dutch family — my older sister and I weren’t really brought up as Jewish.

  4. Heather Poole:

    A passenger tried to stow her baby in an overhead bin.

  5. Peggy Flanagan:

    When I got onto the flight, there were at least five available spots in the overhead bins.

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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