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noun hob·by·horse \ˈhä-bē-ˌhȯrs\

Simple Definition of hobbyhorse

  • : a subject that someone speaks about or complains about often

  • : a stick with a horse's head at one end that a child pretends to ride

Source: Merriam-Webster's Learner's Dictionary

Full Definition of hobbyhorse

  1. 1 a :  a figure of a horse fastened about the waist in the morris dance b :  a dancer wearing this figure

  2. 2 obsolete :  buffoon

  3. 3 a :  a stick having an imitation horse's head at one end that a child pretends to ride b :  rocking horse c :  a toy horse suspended by springs from a frame

  4. 4 a :  a topic to which one constantly reverts b :  2hobby

Examples of hobbyhorse in a sentence

  1. Once he gets on his hobbyhorse and starts talking about taxes, you can't get him to discuss anything else.

  2. She's been riding that hobbyhorse for months.

Did You Know?

The hobbyhorse is a toy of yesteryear, dating back to a homespun era predating automobiles. In the 1400s, the word hobby could refer to a real-life horse of small or average size. It soon came to refer to the horse costume worn by one participating in a morris dance or burlesque performance, and then, later, to the child's toy. Another meaning of hobbyhorse was "a favorite pursuit or pastime"; our modern noun hobby ("an activity that one does for pleasure when not working") was formed by shortening this word. From "pastime," the meaning of hobbyhorse was extended to "a subject to which one repeatedly returns." The sense is typically encountered as part of such metaphorical phrases as "get on one's hobbyhorse" or "ride one's hobbyhorse."

Origin of hobbyhorse

hobby small light horse, from Middle English hoby, hobyn, perhaps from Hobbin, nickname for Robert or Robin

First Known Use: circa 1553

HOBBYHORSE Defined for Kids


noun hob·by·horse \ˈhä-bē-ˌhȯrs\

Definition of hobbyhorse for Students

  1. :  a stick that has an imitation horse's head and that a child pretends to ride

Learn More about hobbyhorse

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expressing little or no emotion

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