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charley horse Syllabification: char·ley horse
Pronunciation: /ˈCHärlē ˌhôrs/

Definition of charley horse in English:


[in singular] North American informal
A cramp or feeling of stiffness in an arm or leg.
Example sentences
  • And with the interruption of the body's normal nerve control, quadriplegics commonly suffer from muscle spasms - think of the worst charley horse you've ever had, one that threatens to strike at any time, in any situation.
  • ‘I just got a charley horse,’ she told him casually.
  • He's so tough that he played in the first round against the team despite a charley horse that caused significant swelling in his right thigh.


Late 19th century: of unknown origin.

Definition of charley horse in:
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