from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th 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.
  • transitive v. To provide with a horse.
  • transitive 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).
  • intransitive 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.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A hoofed mammal, Equus ferus caballus, often used throughout history for riding and draft work.
  • n. Any current or extinct animal of the family Equidae, including the zebra or the ass.
  • n. 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. The chess piece representing a knight, depicted as a man in a suit of armor and often on a horse, hence the nickname.
  • n. A large person.
  • n. A rope stretching along a yard, upon which men stand when reefing or furling the sails; foot ropes.
  • n. The sedative, anti-depressant, and anxiolytic drug morphine, chiefly when used illicitly.
  • n. 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. To frolic, to act mischieviously. (Usually followed by "around".)
  • v. To provide with a horse.
  • v. To get on horseback.
  • n. Heroin.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. 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 foot.
  • 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. 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.
  • 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.
  • n. A translation or other illegitimate aid in study or examination; -- called also trot, pony, Dobbin.
  • n. Horseplay; tomfoolery.
  • n. heroin.
  • n. horsepower.
  • intransitive v. To get on horseback.
  • transitive v. To provide with a horse, or with horses; to mount on, or as on, a horse.
  • transitive v. To sit astride of; to bestride.
  • transitive v. To mate with (a mare); -- said of the male.
  • transitive v. To take or carry on the back.
  • transitive v. To place on the back of another, or on a wooden horse, etc., to be flogged; to subject to such punishment.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • 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.
  • To hang (as skins) over a wooden horse or stand.
  • n. A solidungulate perissodactyl mammal of the family Equidœ and genus Equus; E. caballus.
  • n. plural In zoology, the horse family, or Equidæ; the species of the genus Equus and related genera.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • 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)


from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

Middle English, from Old English hors.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Middle English horse, hors, from Old English hors ("horse"), from Proto-Germanic *hrussan, *hersan (“horse”), from Proto-Indo-European *ḱr̥sos (“horse”), from Proto-Indo-European *ḱers- (“to run”).

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License




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  • "A horse is a horse, of course, of course." – Gertrude Stein.

    July 18, 2011

  • "And when the maid was horsed and he both, the lady took Galahad a fair child and rich; and so they departed from the castle till they came to the seaside; and there they found the ship where Bors and Percivale were in, the which cried on the ship’s board: Sir Galahad, ye be welcome, we have abiden you long."

    - Thomas Malory, 'The Holy Grail'.

    September 13, 2009

  • See also: "horse sense".

    February 26, 2008

  • Dudley Do-Right. See A Horse is a Horse

    February 1, 2008

  • a game played with a basketball

    January 28, 2008

  • "Horses have always been the most reluctant quadruped passengers (aboard ships), with good reason: they are terrible sailors. Unable to vomit, they exhibited the extent of their suffering by an attack of what handlers called the 'gapes.'" (John Maxstone-Graham, The Only Way to Cross, NY: Macmillan, 1972, p. 332)

    See also horse storm. Weirdness.

    November 30, 2007