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Meaning of overhead

o•ver•head

Pronunciation: (adv.ō'vur-hed'adj., n.ō'vur-hed&sec), [key]
— adv.
  1. over one's head; aloft; up in the air or sky, esp. near the zenith: There was a cloud overhead.
  2. so as to be completely submerged or deeply involved: to plunge overhead in water; to sink overhead in debt.
—adj.
  1. situated, operating, or passing above, aloft, or over the head: an overhead sprinkler system.
  2. of or pertaining to the general cost of running a business: overhead expenses; an overhead charge.
—n.
  1. the general, fixed cost of running a business, as rent, lighting, and heating expenses, which cannot be charged or attributed to a specific product or part of the work operation.
  2. that part of manufacturing costs for which cost per unit produced is not readily assignable.
  3. (in a hoistway) the distance between the last floor level served and the beam supporting the hoisting sheaves or machinery.
  4. (in racket sports) a stroke in which the ball or shuttlecock is hit with a downward motion from above the head; smash.
  5. an overhead compartment, shelf, etc.: Pillows are in the overhead above each passenger's seat.
  6. Also calleda shot in which the camera is positioned above the actors, esp. directly overhead.
  7. a ceiling light in a room: Turn off the overheads when you leave.
  8. Also calleda projector capable of projecting images above and behind the person operating it, thus allowing a lecturer or speaker to remain facing the audience while using it.
  9. Also calleda picture or image projected in this manner: a lecture enhanced with overheads.
Random House Unabridged Dictionary, Copyright © 1997, by Random House, Inc., on Infoplease.
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