Definition of horse in English:

horse

Line breaks: horse
Pronunciation: /hɔːs
 
/

noun

1A solid-hoofed plant-eating domesticated mammal with a flowing mane and tail, used for riding, racing, and to carry and pull loads.
More example sentences
  • A horse pulling a cart carrying racegoers was struck by lightning and died and a passenger was killed.
  • The mowing machine for the barley and oats was pulled by two horses and carried two people - the blades would be flying when it was in use.
  • Domestic donkeys interact well with other livestock animals such as horses, cows, goats, sheep, and llamas.
Synonyms
mount, charger, yearling;
cob, draught horse, carthorse, packhorse, racehorse;
nag, hack;
North American bronco;
Australian/New Zealand moke, yarraman
archaic steed, jade
children's word gee-gee
1.1An adult male horse; a stallion or gelding.
More example sentences
  • I now have more mares than male horses though among the top 10 I own three of them are males.
  • The photo is cropped closely so that the reader is not aware that he's looking at a picture of a male horse rather than a mare.
1.2A wild mammal of the horse family.
More example sentences
  • On the roof of the cave deft hands had painted bison, elk, horses and wild boars.
  • Wild horses can be tamed, but Finch said it takes someone who is knowledgeable and experienced.
  • The horse family - Equiidae - was an especial success story during the Neogene.
1.3 [treated as singular or plural] Cavalry: forty horse and sixty foot
More example sentences
  • The cavalry regiments have always been splendidly dressed, with the light horse being the most dashing.
  • He fought alongside the duke at the naval battles off Lowestoft in 1665 and at Sole Bay in 1672 and, though a catholic, was made colonel of a regiment of horse.
  • The next level down was the commander of the fire unit - the horse artillery troop or foot artillery company - equivalent to modern batteries.
2A frame or structure on which something is mounted or supported, especially a sawhorse.
2.1 Nautical A horizontal bar, rail, or rope in the rigging of a sailing ship.
2.2 short for vaulting horse.
More example sentences
  • And the wall bars and horses which have characterised school gym halls for hundreds of years will be replaced by treadmills and electronic recumbent bikes.
  • R. Mikaelyan was first among the Soviet gymnasts who started with the long horse.
  • A year later Olga won her first award at the national title meet - a gold medal in the horse vault.
3 informal A unit of horsepower: a 63-horse engine
4 [mass noun] informal Heroin.
More example sentences
  • For the great horse called heroin will take you to hell.
  • Instead of a bunch of layabouts smoking glue and cracking charlie's horse with LSD, we could have good, fit criminals with discipline and firearms skills.
  • He remembers his first taste of marijuana, his first snort of horse.
5 Mining An obstruction in a vein.

verb

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[with object] Provide (a person or vehicle) with a horse or horses: six men, horsed, masked, and armed
More example sentences
  • For firms horsing their own vehicles, the cost of the yard would be a joint cost and cannot be divided between horses and vehicles.
  • High tobymen, or horsed robbers, had yielded the field to low tobymen, or footpads, and roadside thieving had lost its traditional panache.
  • North and South learned early on that horsed formations could not charge ranks of infantry armed with the new rifled musket, and they relegated cavalry to scouting and raiding roles.

Origin

Old English hors, of Germanic origin; related to Dutch ros and German Ross.

Phrases

don't change horses in midstream

proverb Choose a sensible moment to change your mind.
More example sentences
  • ‘You don't change horses in midstream,’ he says.

frighten the horses

[usually with negative] Do something likely to cause public outrage or offence: David’s views would not have frightened the horses
More example sentences
  • In order to stay in office, such a government would probably do very little to frighten the horses.
  • The Government does not want to frighten the horses.
  • David's views, which surely should have been known, would not have frightened the horses.

from the horse's mouth

(Of information) from the person directly concerned or another authoritative source.
More example sentences
  • Here again, no information from the horse's mouth, only from ‘widespread reports across the Indian media‘.
  • Those were the days when any scribe could get any information he needed from the horse's mouth.
  • This is a positive thing; it's good for students at all levels to get information straight from the horse's mouth, not only for accuracy but also for enthusiasm and authenticity.

horses for courses

British proverb Different people are suited to different things.
More example sentences
  • However, it is horses for courses and we can't say for sure that every boy will play all their matches for the club team.
  • I think it's very much horses for courses - it's about getting a good balance between public and private sector.
  • Always a believer in horses for courses - since the advent of the squad system at least - the Scotland coach is likely to chop and twiddle and tinker over the five championship games.

you can lead (or take) a horse to water but you can't make him drink

proverb You can give someone an opportunity, but you can’t force them to take it.
More example sentences
  • But the old, old cliché says you can take a horse to water but you can't make him drink, well we believe that we can make him thirsty.
  • As the saying goes that you can lead a horse to water but you can't make him drink, so the same goes with standards education.
  • To paraphrase Keynes, you can lead a horse to water but you can't make him drink.

Phrasal verbs

horse around (or about)

informal Fool about: they were talking silly and horsing around
More example sentences
  • There will be plenty of horsing about going on at a big top near the Trafford Centre this week.
  • Then we got to our transfer spot and as they waited mom and daughters fooled around, pulling at one another and horsing around.
  • I enjoyed horsing around with a new person in the group, talking, arguing, eating, drinking, running around in breaks to see who can run faster.
Synonyms
fool around/about, play the fool, act foolishly, act the clown, act the fool, play about/around, clown about/around, monkey about/around, play tricks, indulge in horseplay, engage in high jinks
British informal muck about/around
North American informal cut up

Derivatives

horse-like

adjective
More example sentences
  • The centaur had her four cockatrices perched on the spine of her horse-like half, and her cat was at her side.
  • That the fossil record documents a large number of stable horse-like species has no relevance to the question of whether the horse fossils we have provide strong evidence of common descent.
  • A reptilian head was accompanied by a horse-like body.

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