heading. header

Earlier this month, I emailed Merriam-Webster the following question. Associate Editor Jennifer N. Cislo replied.

Q: Merriam-Webster gives the exact same definition for the words “heading” and “header”:

“a word, phrase, etc., that is placed at the beginning of a document, passage, etc., or at the top of a page”

So, how do these two words differ, if at all? Is one more common than the other? (For what it’s worth, a simple search of Google returns 80.3 million results for “heading” and 43.4 million for “header.”)

A: The two words are synonymous in this sense. As you’ve discerned from your Google search, “heading” is the more commonly used of the two.

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