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Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English
head of state
▪ But the Bulgars early this month elected as their new head of state Petar Stoyanov, an anti-communist opposition leader.
▪ In practice he acts as a formal head of state.
▪ Kremlin holds the reins, page 7 Non-Communist becomes acting head of state Krenz falls as unrest fears grow.
▪ The party chairman is also head of state.
▪ The President, who is head of state, is elected by the Great Hural.
▪ Under the current system the President was both head of state and head of government.
head of state

n. The chief public representative of a nation having duties, privileges and responsibilities varying greatly depending on the constitutional rules; a monarch in a monarchy, and often styled president in a republic, but variations such as collegiality exist.

head of state

n. the chief public representative of a country who may also be the head of government [syn: chief of state]

Head of state

A head of state or Chief of State is the highest-ranking position in a sovereign state and is vested with powers to act as the chief public representative of that state. In most countries, the head of state is a natural person, but the position is held by a body of persons in the Federal Council of Switzerland and the Presidency of Bosnia and Herzegovina and, in two other United Nations member states, the position is held by two persons jointly: the Co-Princes of Andorra and the Captains Regent of San Marino. The role and functions of the office of a head of state may range from being purely ceremonial figurehead to one that wields autocratic executive power, for the nature of the position of a head of state is for each state to decide. Although several models or patterns exist, there are many idiosyncrasies in different states which preclude tidy classifications.

The office of a head of state is often distinct from a head of government. For example, the distinction is made in article 7 of the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties, article 1 of the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of Crimes against Internationally Protected Persons, including Diplomatic Agents and the United Nations protocol list. In parliamentary systems like the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and the Federal Republic of Germany, for example, the monarch and the president are recognized as their respective heads of state, while the prime minister and the chancellor are recognized as the heads of government. However, in republics with a presidential system (as in the United States and Brazil) or certain parliamentary republics (as in South Africa and Botswana), their presidents are recognized as being both heads of state and heads of government.

The role of the head of state generally includes legitimizing the state and exercising the functions and duties granted to the head of state in the country's constitution, laws, unwritten customs, or by their traditions, including the appointment of members of the government and ambassadors. Before the enactment of the modern French constitution, Charles de Gaulle described the role he envisaged for the French presidency by stating the head of state should embody "the spirit of the nation" for the nation itself and the world and embody "a certain idea about France" . Today, many countries expect their head of state to carry out their duties with dignity in a similar fashion.

Head of state (disambiguation)

The term Head of State may refer to:

  • Head of state, a term used in politics, law, and diplomacy
  • Head of State (film), 2003 American comedy film
See also
  • Heads of State (R&B Group)

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Head of State (film)

Head of State is a 2003 comedy film directed, written by, and starring Chris Rock and co-starring Bernie Mac. It marked the directorial debut of Rock, who had previously worked as a writer, producer and actor.

The film's title refers to one of the key functions of the President of the United States, as the American head of state. This was the last film by cinematographer Donald E. Thorin, who died in 2016, having not worked on a film in thirteen years.

Head of State (Armenian film)

Head of State is an Arminian comedy written by Narek Margaryan and Sergey Sargsyan and directed by Hrant Yeritskinyan, starring Aram Mp3, Sati Janibekyan, Narek Margaryan, Sergey Sargsyan and David Tadevosyan. The film was completed in 2016 and, was released on April 1, 2016.

Usage examples of "head of state".

Ed Piazza, the secretary of state, had been Stearns' choice to serve as his personal representative to all the various minor local potentates not worthy of the personal attention of the head of state.

If he was going to go call upon the local head of state, acting or no, it behooved him to make the best impression that he could, and Chief Steward Agnelli would never forgive him if he didn’.

Even when a head of state was assassinated, that usually ended the threat.

I was sent here by personal appointment of Oscar Saint-Just, then head of state of the Republic.

But the thing which had truly astounded her was that when he offered her both the political and the military powers of the head of state, he'd meant it.

It sounded as if Random were going to an awful lot of trouble to isolate Luke from his power base and any semblance of legitimacy as a head of state.

In fact, he specifically charged me to express his regrets, both personal and as Grayson's head of state, to you.

The change from one head of state to another should have been—.

He was the best possible head of state for our purposes, and I’.

It is hard to envision why a head of state would want or need his own private tube full of air running underneath the Sahara.

It's an incontestably genuine request for your presence from an allied head of state to whom you owe personal fealty and in whose system a decisive battle just took place.

But Steadholder Harrington is still a head of state in her own right, with all of the legal prerogatives and responsibilities that entails.

But they were trained bodyguards, responsible for their head of state's safety, and their hands jerked to their weapons as the beast ran amok.

As you all know, following the plebiscite vote, it was decided by Parliament that the delegation to the Constitutional Convention on Flax should be headed by our own head of state.

Since I was the only head of state there besides the two counts, I got to talk to the Oldenburg guy.