What does overhead mean?

Definitions for overhead
ˈoʊ vərˈhɛd; ˈoʊ vərˌhɛdover·head

This dictionary definitions page includes all the possible meanings, example usage 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

    Overhead refers to the ongoing business expenses not directly attributed to creating a product or service. It is essentially the costs required to run a business but not strictly associated with production or sales. This could include expenses like rent, utilities, office supplies, insurance, salaries of administrative staff, and depreciation that are necessary for day-to-day operations.


  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. Angelica Varela:

    The black-footed ferrets prey on prairie dogs so it was once thought that elimination programs for the dogs, considered a nuisance to farmers and ranchers, were impacting the ferret population. Now, there was a concerted effort by the state to rebuild the black-footed ferret population. On a recent day, volunteers made their way to small-town Seligman and met for training on the first night inside a rented home in a rural neighborhood that Arizona Game and Fish uses for the operation. One of those volunteers is Robert Coonrod, who bought a pick-up truck and rigged it with overhead lights specifically for the night-time searches. Robert Coonrod has been volunteering for five years. Though hes not a biologist, he enjoys helping out wildlife and found a new photography hobby while volunteering. HUNTERS TURN TO HIPSTERS TO HELP BOOST SPORTS DECLINING NUMBERS One of the volunteers is Robert Coonrod, who bought a pick-up truck and rigged it with overhead lights specifically for the night-time searches. ( Fox News) Were looking for a ferret to be outside his hole. We drive down, he gets curious, looks at the lights, you see the green eyes shine, and then its off to the races, Robert Coonrod said. Once the animalis spotted, volunteers run towardit and set up a trap. But they have to first hopscotch around prairie dog burrows that dot the landscape. Sometimes it can be very entertaining watching people run across a prairie dog colony because youre so focused on the ferret that you forget about all these holes on the ground, Holly Hicks said. Yeah, every one of us has tripped and fallen in a prairie dog hole after chasing after a ferret. ARIZONA MAN PICKED UP NEWBORN FAWN, TOOK IT TO LOCAL BAR, OFFICIALS SAY With freezing temperates on the first night of the search, around 10 of the volunteers showed up, including Arizona State Univerisity biology graduate Angelica Varela, who will soon be starting an internship with Bird Conservancy of the Rockies. With freezing temperates on the first night of the search, around 10 of the volunteers showed up( Fox News)( When I started) volunteering( for other wildlife organizations) and really getting boots on the ground and realizing the hard work that actually goes into it, its really important and its really satisfying being able to know that you had a part in helping a species, as conservation work, I mean were doing this so that eventually we dont have to keep doing it. Angelica Varela drove up from Phoenix with Angelica Varela friend, Brandi Kapos, who is an Olive Garden waitress and an Arizona State Univerisity conservation biology graduate. Shes looking to return to school to get a masters degree in Geographic Information Systems. Before Angelica Varela and Brandi Kapos got their assignment from Jennifer Cordova for the night, they said they had energy drinks and candy. Angelica Varela said Angelica Varela was pumped. With freezing temperates on the first night of the search, around 10 of the volunteers showed up, including Arizona State Univerisity biology graduates Angelica Varela and Brandi Kapos. ( Fox News) Jennifer Cordova said the goal is to get the black-footed ferret off the endangered species list. Fox News important because wildlife dont have a say -- theydont have a voice out there, Holly Hicks said. So, its people like us who manage and try to keep that voice out there and people aware. Our passion comes from a lot of places. We love animals. We want to see wildlife in the future for future generations. Only found in North America, this wild animal differs from the European pet ferrets that are domesticated. The black-footed ferret was once thought extinct until 18 were found in 1981. Since then, recovery and breeding efforts have helped the black-footed ferret population grow. I kind of feel like its our duty.

  3. Jessica Matthews:

    The performance style is starting to appeal to everyday people, it’s not just about getting active but about accomplishing a pull up or lifting a barbell overhead.

  4. 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.

  5. Flavio Volpe:

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

Popularity rank by frequency of use


Translations for overhead

From our Multilingual Translation Dictionary

  • فوقArabic
  • allgemeine Unkosten, Mehraufwand, Overhead, vergeudetes Geld, darüber, oben, Überkopf-German
  • gastos generalesSpanish
  • kiinteät, taivaalla, yläpuolinen, päällä, kustannukset, yläpuolella, oleva, päänFinnish
  • frais généreuxFrench
  • rezsi, felső, fix költségHungarian
  • 間接費, オーバーヘッドJapanese
  • overheadNorwegian
  • narzutPolish
  • накладные расходы, накладной, наверхуRussian
  • hladni pogon, fiksni trošakSerbo-Croatian
  • overheadSwedish
  • genel giderlerle ilgili, genel giderler, başdan yukarıda, boşa harcanan para, yukarıda, başın üstünde, havadaTurkish
  • Chinese

Get even more translations for overhead »


Find a translation for the overhead definition in other languages:

Select another language:

  • - Select -
  • 简体中文 (Chinese - Simplified)
  • 繁體中文 (Chinese - Traditional)
  • Español (Spanish)
  • Esperanto (Esperanto)
  • 日本語 (Japanese)
  • Português (Portuguese)
  • Deutsch (German)
  • العربية (Arabic)
  • Français (French)
  • Русский (Russian)
  • ಕನ್ನಡ (Kannada)
  • 한국어 (Korean)
  • עברית (Hebrew)
  • Gaeilge (Irish)
  • Українська (Ukrainian)
  • اردو (Urdu)
  • Magyar (Hungarian)
  • मानक हिन्दी (Hindi)
  • Indonesia (Indonesian)
  • Italiano (Italian)
  • தமிழ் (Tamil)
  • Türkçe (Turkish)
  • తెలుగు (Telugu)
  • ภาษาไทย (Thai)
  • Tiếng Việt (Vietnamese)
  • Čeština (Czech)
  • Polski (Polish)
  • Bahasa Indonesia (Indonesian)
  • Românește (Romanian)
  • Nederlands (Dutch)
  • Ελληνικά (Greek)
  • Latinum (Latin)
  • Svenska (Swedish)
  • Dansk (Danish)
  • Suomi (Finnish)
  • فارسی (Persian)
  • ייִדיש (Yiddish)
  • հայերեն (Armenian)
  • Norsk (Norwegian)
  • English (English)

Word of the Day

Would you like us to send you a FREE new word definition delivered to your inbox daily?

Please enter your email address:


Use the citation below to add this definition to your bibliography:


"overhead." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2023. Web. 1 Oct. 2023. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/overhead>.

Discuss these overhead definitions with the community:


    Are we missing a good definition for overhead? Don't keep it to yourself...

    Free, no signup required:

    Add to Chrome

    Get instant definitions for any word that hits you anywhere on the web!

    Free, no signup required:

    Add to Firefox

    Get instant definitions for any word that hits you anywhere on the web!

    Browse Definitions.net


    Are you a words master?

    discover or determine the existence, presence, or fact of
    • A. obligate
    • B. aggravate
    • C. jeopardize
    • D. observe

    Nearby & related entries:

    Alternative searches for overhead: