Meaning of Idiom ‘Go to Someone’s Head’
To go to someone’s head means to make someone overly proud, arrogant, conceited, foolish, or careless; to have success make one believe they are more successful than they really are. 1Kirkpatrick, Elizabeth M. The Wordsworth Dictionary of Idioms. Ware: Wordsworth, 1995.,2Ayto, John. Oxford Dictionary of English Idioms. Oxford: Oxford U, 2010.,3Heacock, Paul. Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary: Cambridge Univ. Press, 2009.
Also, of alcoholic beverages, to make someone slightly drunk or dizzy (i.e. tipsy). 4Kirkpatrick, Elizabeth M. The Wordsworth Dictionary of Idioms. Ware: Wordsworth, 1995.,5Ayto, John. Oxford Dictionary of English Idioms. Oxford: Oxford U, 2010.
This idiom usually refers to a person’s response to success, praise, etc. It can also refer to anything that affects a person’s judgment or thinking. 6Heacock, Paul. Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary: Cambridge Univ. Press, 2009.
Examples Of Use
“Pete’s promotion has already gone to his head. He’s walking around the office like the king peacock.”
“Kevin always swore that if he made it as a musician he’d never let it go to his head.”
“I’m going to give you the lead on this mission, said the Colonel, but don’t let it go to your head. You have a lot of work to do and I’m not impressed yet.”
“Our coach always cautioned us not to let an early win go to our head.”
“Wine always goes straight to my head.”
“Better cut Dave off,” said Mary. “The beer has gone to his head.”
“Be careful as you ascend the mountain. The lack of oxygen can go to your head and the result can be deadly.”
Used since at least the early 1900s.
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