1. A position on an enemy shoreline captured by troops in advance of an invading force.
2. A first achievement that opens the way for further developments; a foothold: "It is not yet clear whether the ecologists will establish a beachhead in the economists' carefully constructed intellectual empire" (Peter Passell).
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.