AskDefine | Define overhead

Dictionary Definition

overhead adj : located or originating from above; "an overhead crossing" [ant: surface, subsurface]


1 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 [syn: operating expense, operating cost, budget items]
2 (computer science) the processing time required by a device prior to the execution of a command [syn: command processing overhead time, command processing overhead, command overhead]
3 (computer science) the disk space required for non-data information (used for location and timing) [syn: disk overhead]
4 a transparency for use with an overhead projector [syn: viewgraph]
5 (nautical) the top surface of an enclosed space on a ship
6 a hard return hitting the tennis ball above your head [syn: smash] adv
1 above your head; in the sky; "planes were flying overhead"
2 above the head; over the head; "bring the legs together overhead"

User Contributed Dictionary



Etymology 1


  1. located above, especially over the head
    Place your luggage in the overhead bins.
  2. business accounting of, or relating to the operating expenses of a business
    They tried to reduce overhead costs.


  1. The expense of a business not directly assigned to goods or services provided.
  2. The items or classes of expense not directly assigned to goods or services provided.
  3. 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. Wasted money.


  1. above one's head;in the sky
    Birds flying overhead.

Etymology 2

back-form overhead projector


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

Extensive Definition

Overhead may be:
overhead in German: Overhead
overhead in Italian: Overhead
overhead in Dutch: Overhead
overhead in Portuguese: Overhead

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

above, abovestairs, airward, aloft, aloof, budget, budget items, burden of expenditure, carrying charge, ceiling, charges, cost, cost of living, cost-of-living allowance, cost-of-living index, costs, direct costs, disbursals, distributed costs, eaves, elevated, expenditures, expense, expense account, expenses, general expenses, high, high up, housetop, in the air, in the clouds, indirect costs, labor costs, lantern, liabilities, maintenance, material costs, on high, on stilts, on the peak, on tiptoe, operating costs, operating expense, outlay, over, overhead, penthouse, plafond, prime cost, raised, replacement cost, ridgepole, roof, roof garden, roof-deck, roofage, roofing, roofpole, rooftop, rooftree, shingles, skylight, skyward, slates, straight up, swindle sheet, tiles, tiptoe, to the zenith, top, unit cost, up, upper, upstairs, upward, upwards
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