lose your head: meaning and explanation

If someone loses their head, then they act in a way that is not calm, sensible, rational or controlled.

This is often related to panic, e.g. During fire drills at school, there was always one person who completely lost their head. 

Someone might also lose their head due to strong emotions like anger, excitement or love. e.g. It’s understandable that most people lose their heads after winning the lottery.

Synonyms: to panic, to overreact.

Have a go at these micro-dictation exercises to hear this expression being used in context – how much can you understand?

Listening exercises

Micro-listening #1

Accent: English (RP)

thing to stay not .

About the sentence

…stay calm and not lose your head…

Notice the useful expression to stay calm, which has the opposite meaning of to lose your head. e.g. If you get into trouble while swimming in the sea, it is very important to stay calm.

Micro-listening #2

Accent: North America

- .
I’m sorry a bit - I just overexcited.

About the sentence

…I’m sorry for losing my head a bit back there…

The phrase back there is an informal way of referring to the recent past. e.g. Things were looking serious for a while back there, but everything’s fine now.

Micro-listening #3

Accent: Australia

, .
I a stressful situation, try not to .

Extra practice

Here are some questions/links to help you learn the new vocabulary:

  • Can you remember a time when you completely lost your head? What happened?
  • If you won the lottery, do you think you would lose your head?
  • Professional sporting events are very intense situations, and it is common for sportspeople to lose their heads. Can you remember a time when this happened?

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