"careful attention, notice, regard," early 14c., from heed (v.). Survives only in literary use, in compounds, and as the object of verbs (take heed, etc.).
Old English hedan "observe; to take care, attend, care for, protect, take charge of," from West Germanic *hodjan (source also of Old Saxon hodian, Old Frisian hoda, Middle Dutch and Dutch hoeden, Old High German huotan, German hüten "to guard, watch"), from PIE *kadh- "to shelter, cover" (see hat). Related: Heeded; heeding.
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