A shipping term referring to the highest point of a mast, often serving either as an observation point or as the point at which an identification flag is hung. This latter function of a ship’s masthead has led to the incorporation of the term into the world of print where, in British usage, it refers to the section at the top of a newspaper’s front page presenting the title, date and sometimes also details of the publisher, editor, place of publication, etc. In American usage, this part of a newspaper is often called the ‘nameplate’, while ‘masthead’ is used to refer to the column or page of publisher’s details in books and journals. (P.G.)