American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
- n. A large hoofed mammal (Equus caballus) having a short-haired coat, a long mane, and a long tail, domesticated since ancient times and used for riding and for drawing or carrying loads.
- n. An adult male horse; a stallion.
- n. Any of various equine mammals, such as the wild Asian species E. przewalskii or certain extinct forms related ancestrally to the modern horse.
- n. A frame or device, usually with four legs, used for supporting or holding.
- n. Sports A vaulting horse.
- n. Slang Heroin.
- n. Horsepower. Often used in the plural.
- n. Mounted soldiers; cavalry: a squadron of horse.
- n. Geology A block of rock interrupting a vein and containing no minerals.
- n. Geology A large block of displaced rock that is caught along a fault.
- v. To provide with a horse.
- v. To haul or hoist energetically: "Things had changed little since the days of the pyramids, with building materials being horsed into place by muscle power” ( Henry Allen).
- v. To be in heat. Used of a mare.
- adj. Of or relating to a horse: a horse blanket.
- adj. Mounted on horses: horse guards.
- adj. Drawn or operated by a horse.
- adj. Larger or cruder than others that are similar: horse pills.
- horse around Informal To indulge in horseplay or frivolous activity: Stop horsing around and get to work.
- idiom. another Another matter entirely; something else.
- idiom. beat To continue to pursue a cause that has no hope of success.
- idiom. beat To dwell tiresomely on a matter that has already been decided.
- idiom. be To be or become disdainful, superior, or conceited.
- idiom. hold (one's) horses To restrain oneself.
- idiom. the horse's mouth A source of information regarded as original or unimpeachable.
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. A solidungulate perissodactyl mammal of the family Equidœ and genus Equus; E. caballus. It has a flowing mane and tail, comparatively small erect ears, comparatively large rounded hoofs, shapely head, arched neck, a callosity on the inner side of the hind leg below the hock, in addition to one on the fore leg above the so-called “knee,” and a peculiar voice called a “neigh.” These are the principal distinctive characters of the existing horses, of whatever variety, in comparison with the asses and zebras, which are commonly placed in the same genus (Equus). The horse has no distinctive coloration, but is never conspicuously striped in any regular pattern, and seldom shows even the dorsal and shoulder stripe characteristic of the ass, though there is often an indication of this marking in horses which have reverted to a feral state and tend to assume a dun color. The horse is now known only as a domesticated and artificially bred animal, though in both North and South America, in Australia, and in some parts of Asia the descendants of domesticated ancestors run wild in troops. The native country of the horse and the period of its subjection to man are unknown. Animals congeneric with the present horse, if not conspecific, have left their remains with those of the mammoth and other extinct animals in the bone-caves of both the old and new worlds, but the genus Equus appears not to have been fully established before the close of the Pliocene. The evolution of the modern forms has been traced back through the whole Tertiary period, by the discovery of such genera as Hipparion and Pliohippus of the Pliocene, Anchitherium, Miohippus, and Mesohippus of the Miocene, and Orohippus and Eohippus of the Eocene. In the course of this evolutionary series is observed a very gradual and unbroken geologic pedigree, going back to a small animal, not larger than a fox, with several separate toes on each foot. The size has steadily increased, and other progressive modifications, especially of the limbs, have resulted in the existing horse in all its numberless artificial breeds, races, and strains, combining in various degrees the qualities of size, strength, speed, and bottom. Two breeds—namely, the large, powerful, black breed of Flanders, and the Arabian — have contributed more than all others to develop the present varieties. The former laid the foundation of size, strength, and vigor for draft-horses and for those formerly used in war; while, when mailed armor was laid aside, and the horse began to be used for the chase, the latter conferred the speed and endurance which distinguish the hunter. The ladies’ palfrey is largely derived from the Spanish genet, a small, beautiful, fleet variety of the Moorish barb. The race-horse has less of Flemish and more of Arabian blood. Other leading varieties are the Suffolk Punch and Clydesdale, both chiefly of Flemish blood, and best for draft and agriculture; and several varieties of ponies, as Galloway, Shetland, etc. Carriage, riding, and other horses combine the above breeds in varying degrees, as speed, endurance, strength, or size, etc., may be required. Horses are said to have “blood” or “breeding” in proportion as they have a greater or less strain of Arab blood. The wild horse of Tatary is called a tarpan, that of northern Africa a koomrah, and that of America a mustang, the last being descended from imported Spanish parents. The male of the horse is a stallion; when gelded, a gelding; the female is a mare; the young, a foal—if a male, a colt, if a female, a filly. The colt and filly become “of age” when the “corner-nippers” (outer incisors) attain functional development. The age of the horse may be determined by the marks on the front teeth, which change with the wearing down of the crowns by use. When the mark disappears. as it generally does in the eighth or ninth year, the horse is “aged.” The period of gestation is eleven months, and foals are generally dropped in the spring. Horses vary greatly in size, some standing more than twice as high as others. Very small horses are called
ponies, as those bred in Shetland.
- n. plural In zoology, the horse family, or Equidæ; the species of the genus Equus and related genera. These include all the existing asses of the restricted genus Asinus, and the quagga, dauw, and zebra, of the restricted genus Hippotigris, together with all the extinct forms of the Tertiary period which, however different from the modern horse, are connected closely by intermediate links. See
- n. The male of the horse kind, in distinction from the female or mare; a stallion or gelding.
- n. A body of troops serving on horseback: cavalry: in this sense a collective noun, used also as a plural: as, a regiment of horse.
- n. A frame, block, board, or the like, on which something is mounted or supported, or the use of which is in any way analogous to that of a horse. Compare etymology of easel.
- n. Specifically— A vaulting-block in a gymnasium.
- n. A wooden frame on which soldiers are made to ride as a punishment: sometimes called a timber mare.
- n. A saw-horse.
- n. A clothes-horse.
- n. A currier’ board, used in dressing hides.
- n. In printing, a sloping board, with its support, placed on the bank close to the tympan of a hand-press, on which is laid the paper to be printed.
- n. A support for the cables of a suspension-bridge.
- n. A board on which the workman sits in grinding the bevels and edges of tools in their manufacture. Also horsing.
- n. In mining, a mass of rock inclosed within a lode or vein, usually of the same material as the “country,” or rock adjacent to the lode on each side.
- n. In metallurgy, same as bear, 7.
- n. An implement or a device for some service suggesting or supposed to suggest that of a horse. Specifically— A clamp for holding screws for filing.
- n. Nautical: A foot-rope.
- n. A jack-stay, on the forward or after side of a mast, on which a sail or yard is hoisted.
- n. A traveler for the sheet-block of a fore-and-aft sail, consisting of a horizontal bar of wood or iron.
- n. The iron bar between the posts of a fife-rail to which the leading-blocks are fastened.
- n. A translation or similar forbidden aid used by a pupil in the preparation of his lessons; a “pony”; a “trot”; a “crib”: so called as helping the pupil to get on faster.
- n. Among British workmen, work charged for before it is executed.
- n. A term of opprobrium. Compare ass, similarly used.
- n. [Horse, as the first element of a compound. indicates a large or coarse thing of its kind: as, horse-chestnut, horse-crab, horse-mackerel, horse-play, etc.]
- n. Hence— Any competitor for or recipient of a prize, honors, or office concerning whom nothing certain is known, or whose identity is at first concealed, as for reasons of strategy; one who is unexpectedly brought forward as a candidate, or for nomination in a convention: much used in American politics.
- n. The cavalry and infantry — that is, the whole army: as, they were routed, horse, foot, and dragoons.
- n. As used adverbially, indiscriminately; without favor.
- n. Take horse; mount: used absolutely, as a signal or command.
- n. To be covered, as a mare.
- n. In mining, to divide into branches for a distance: said of a vein.
- To provide with a horse; supply horses for, as a body of cavalry, etc.
- To sit astride; bestride.
- To cover: said of the male.
- To mount or place on or as on the back of a horse; set on horseback; hence, to take on one's own back.
- To mount on another's back preparatory to flogging.
- . Nautical, to “ride” hard; drive or urge at work unfairly or tyrannically: as, to horse a ship's crew.
- To make out or learn by means of a translation or other extrinsic aid: as, to horse a lesson in Virgil.
- To get on horseback; mount or ride on a horse.
- To charge for work before it is executed.
- In calking, to embed firmly in the seams of a ship, as oakum, with a horsing-iron and a mallet: often with up.
- An obsolete form of hoarse.
- n. The researches of Ewart, Osborn, and others show the probability that the modern horse, like the dog, has been derived from several sources. Prjevalsky's horse is considered to be one of these, while two other forms are recognized—the Celtic pony and the Norse horse.
- n. One of the inclined timbers in a staircase which support the steps.
- n. In mining: A lenticular bod of shale or old channel fillings which cuts out coal-seams.
- n. In chess, same as knight.
- n. In astronomy, the constellation of Pegasus (see flying horse); also, the equine part of Sagittarius (represented as a centaur).
- n. A Danish silver coin of the value of 1 s. 2 d.
- To hang (as skins) over a wooden horse or stand.
- n. A hoofed mammal, Equus ferus caballus, often used throughout history for riding and draft work.
- n. zoology Any current or extinct animal of the family Equidae, including the zebra or the ass.
- n. military Cavalry soldiers (sometimes capitalized when referring to an official category).
- n. In gymnastics, a piece of equipment with a body on two or four legs, approximately four feet high with two handles on top.
- n. chess, informal The chess piece representing a knight, depicted as a man in a suit of armor and often on a horse, hence the nickname.
- n. slang A large person.
- n. nautical A rope stretching along a yard, upon which men stand when reefing or furling the sails; foot ropes.
- n. slang The sedative, anti-depressant, and anxiolytic drug morphine, chiefly when used illicitly.
- n. US An informal variant of basketball in which players match shots made by their opponent(s), each miss adding a letter to the word "horse", with 5 misses spelling the whole word and eliminating a player, until only the winner is left. Also HORSE, H-O-R-S-E or H.O.R.S.E. (See Variations of basketball#H-O-R-S-E on Wikipedia.Wikipedia:Variations of basketball#H-O-R-S-E)
- v. intransitive To frolic, to act mischieviously. (Usually followed by "around".)
- v. transitive To provide with a horse.
- v. obsolete To get on horseback.
- n. uncountable, slang, dated Heroin.
GNU Webster's 1913
- n. (Zoöl.) A hoofed quadruped of the genus Equus; especially, the domestic horse (Equus caballus), which was domesticated in Egypt and Asia at a very early period. It has six broad molars, on each side of each jaw, with six incisors, and two canine teeth, both above and below. The mares usually have the canine teeth rudimentary or wanting. The horse differs from the true asses, in having a long, flowing mane, and the tail bushy to the base. Unlike the asses it has callosities, or chestnuts, on all its legs. The horse excels in strength, speed, docility, courage, and nobleness of character, and is used for drawing, carrying, bearing a rider, and like purposes.
- n. The male of the genus Equus, in distinction from the female or male; usually, a castrated male.
- n. Mounted soldiery; cavalry; -- used without the plural termination; ; -- distinguished from
- n. A frame with legs, used to support something
- n. A frame of timber, shaped like a horse, on which soldiers were made to ride for punishment.
- n. Anything, actual or figurative, on which one rides as on a horse; a hobby.
- n. (Mining) A mass of earthy matter, or rock of the same character as the wall rock, occurring in the course of a vein, as of coal or ore; hence, to
take horse-- said of a vein -- is to divide into branches for a distance.
- n. See Footrope, a.
- n. A breastband for a leadsman.
- n. An iron bar for a sheet traveler to slide upon.
- n. A jackstay.
- n. A translation or other illegitimate aid in study or examination; -- called also
trot, pony, Dobbin.
- n. Horseplay; tomfoolery.
- n. slang heroin.
- n. Colloq. contraction horsepower.
- v. To provide with a horse, or with horses; to mount on, or as on, a horse.
- v. To sit astride of; to bestride.
- v. To mate with (a mare); -- said of the male.
- v. To take or carry on the back.
- v. To place on the back of another, or on a wooden horse, etc., to be flogged; to subject to such punishment.
- v. obsolete To get on horseback.
- n. troops trained to fight on horseback
- v. provide with a horse or horses
- n. a framework for holding wood that is being sawed
- n. solid-hoofed herbivorous quadruped domesticated since prehistoric times
- n. a padded gymnastic apparatus on legs
- n. a chessman shaped to resemble the head of a horse; can move two squares horizontally and one vertically (or vice versa)
- Unknown (Wiktionary)
- Middle English, from Old English hors. (American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
“So, since the real essence (the atomic constitution) of a horse is unknown to us, our word ˜horse™ cannot get its meaning from that real essence.”
“Hence white horse, the extension of ˜white horse™, is not the same as (identical to) horse, the extension of ˜horse™.”
“His most famous line, A white horse is not a horse, deals with the important distinction between horse, white, and white horse.”
“In the sentence, "The man is _beating_ his horse," the noun _horse_ is in the objective case, because it is the object of the action expressed by the active-transitive participle "beating," and it is governed by the participle beating, according to”
“I know you can ride that speck of a pony out there, but you must have a horse now, a real _horse_.”
“-- The languages are akin, because each say, where we should say 'the horse kicked the man,' _horse agent man kicking completion, _ or words to that effect, -- dapped out nearly in spherical or angular disconnected monosyllables.”
“The occurrence, as recounted by both Orosius and Herodotus, is attributed to a _horse_ (a sacred horse, Herod.), not to a _horseman_, _knight_, or”
“QHNews is delivering the very latest from the cutting, reining & reined cow horse industries. #horse THNX intellibitz HVS Executive Search - Global Executive Recruitment for the Hotel, Gaming, Restaurant and Retail Industries”
“a porter, with a load of wood upon his back, passed by the other side of the horse, so near, that the gentleman on horse-* back was forced to turn his head towards him to avoid being rubbed by the wood.”
“After hearing a comment of that nature, so filled with anger and hate, I worry that the term horse's ass is way too kind.”
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