a horse of a different color

noun phrase
Updated on: 15 Nov 2017

Definition of a horse of a different color

chiefly US, informal
:a very different thing or issue
  • That's what we'll do when he gets here. But if he doesn't show up…well, that's a horse of a different color.

Word by Word Definitions

horse play
  1. : a large solid-hoofed herbivorous ungulate mammal (Equus caballus, family Equidae, the horse family) domesticated since prehistoric times and used as a beast of burden, a draft animal, or for riding

  2. : racehorse

  3. : a male horse

  1. : to provide with a horse (see horse 1a(1))

  2. : to move by brute force

  3. : to be in heat or estrus

  1. : of or relating to a horse (see horse 1a(1))

  2. : hauled or powered by a horse

  3. : large or coarse of its kind

different play
  1. : partly or totally unlike in nature, form, or quality : dissimilar

  2. : not the same: such as

  3. : distinct

  1. : differently

color play
  1. : a phenomenon of light (such as red, brown, pink, or gray) or visual perception that enables one to differentiate otherwise identical objects

  2. : the aspect of the appearance of objects and light sources that may be described in terms of hue, lightness, and saturation (see saturation 4) for objects and hue, brightness, and saturation for light sources

  3. : a color other than and as contrasted with black, white, or gray

  1. : to give color to

  2. : to change the color of (as by dyeing, staining, or painting)

  3. : to change as if by dyeing or painting: such as


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