What does the idiom "come to a head" mean?

come to a head is an idiom used by many writers. When idioms are used in the right place, they open the doors of effective communication and increase your descriptive power. In this way, you will be better understood. The meaning of the expression come to a head is also remarkable in this respect.

Meaning of "come to a head"


The expression “to come to a head” means that a situation is reaching its climax. It implies that the tension and emotions surrounding a situation have built up to their closest point and can no longer be contained. It often means that a solution to the problem is near.


The phrase “to come to a head” originated in the 15th century and is believed to have originated in England. It originated from the same root as the expression “to come head to head”, which means to go head to head in a disagreement or debate. Over time, the phrase developed to mean a situation reaching a peak before a resolution.


The phrase “to come to a head” is often used to describe situations where tension and emotions have built up over a period of time. It is often used to describe a situation that cannot be resolved until it reaches its peak or crest. For example, a trade dispute between two countries can be said to have “come to a head” when the sides are negotiating their final terms. It can also be used to describe a situation when emotions and tensions reach a high point before a resolution is reached. For example, a family argument can be said to have “come to a head” when the family members reach an understanding and are able to move on.

Example Sentences

  • The conflict between the two countries had been brewing for months, but it finally came to a head when the leaders met to negotiate a resolution.
  • The disagreement between the siblings had been escalating for days, and it finally came to a head when they decided to talk it out.
  • The tension between the two political parties had been escalating for weeks, and it finally came to a head when they had to vote on the issue.

The meanings of the words in the "come to a head" idiom

Beyond the Literal: Figurative Language in Idioms

Idioms often use figurative language to convey a message that is not meant to be taken literally. For instance, the idiom "bite the bullet" means to endure a painful or difficult situation without complaint, while "hold your horses" means to be patient and wait. Other idioms, like "kick the bucket" or "pop your clogs," use euphemisms to talk about death.


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