late 14c., "members of a family collectively (including servants)," also "furniture and articles belonging to a house;" see house (n.) + hold (n.1). As an adjective, "of or pertaining to house and family, domestic," from late 14c. Compare householder. Household word, one that is in very familiar use, is from 1590s; variant household name is from 1862.
word-forming element meaning "state or condition of being," Middle English -hede, from a variant of Old English -had, the source of -hood. The only surviving words with it are maidenhead and godhead.
"most important, principal, leading," c. 1200, from head (n.). Old English heafod was used in this sense in compounds.
Old English heafod "top of the body," also "upper end of a slope," also "chief person, leader, ruler; capital city," from Proto-Germanic *haubid (source also of Old Saxon hobid, Old Norse hofuð, Old Frisian haved, Middle Dutch hovet, Dutch hoofd, Old High German houbit, German Haupt, Gothic haubiþ "head"), from PIE root *kaput- "head."
Modern spelling is early 15c., representing what was then a long vowel (as in heat) and remained after pronunciation shifted. Of rounded tops of plants from late 14c. Meaning "origin of a river" is mid-14c. Meaning "obverse of a coin" (the side with the portrait) is from 1680s; meaning "foam on a mug of beer" is first attested 1540s; meaning "toilet" is from 1748, based on location of crew toilet in the bow (or head) of a ship.
Synechdochic use for "person" (as in head count) is first attested late 13c.; of cattle, etc., in this sense from 1510s. As a height measure of persons, from c. 1300. Meaning "drug addict" (usually in a compound with the preferred drug as the first element) is from 1911.
To be over (one's) head "beyond one's comprehension" is by 1620s. To give head "perform fellatio" is from 1950s. Phrase heads will roll "people will be punished" (1930) translates Adolf Hitler. Head case "eccentric or insane person" is from 1966. Head game "mental manipulation" attested by 1972.
also shithead, "objectionable or contemptible person," by 1961, from shit (n.) + head (n.). Piece of shit for "contemptible person" is by 1916; shit-sack or shitsack in this sense is noted by 1769, in reference to the time of Charles II, as an "opprobrious appellation by which the Nonconformists were vulgarly distinguished." Simple shit (n.) for "obnoxious person" is by 1510s.