charley horse

noun

char·​ley horse ˈchär-lē-ˌhȯrs How to pronounce charley horse (audio)
: a muscular pain, cramping, or stiffness especially of the quadriceps that results from a strain or bruise

Examples of charley horse in a Sentence

had to stop and rest because of a charley horse in his leg
Recent Examples on the Web More commonly known as a charley horse, a nighttime leg cramp is when the muscles in a leg quickly tighten up. Erica Lamberg, Fox News, 4 Feb. 2024 David Della-Giustina, MD, an emergency medicine doctor and professor of emergency medicine at Yale School of Medicine, says those heat cramps feel like a muscle spasm, or what's known as a charley horse. Leah Groth, Health.com, 17 June 2020 This is different than the last time, when the guy has the charley horse. Patrick Gomez, EW.com, 21 Mar. 2023 Campbell said Aidan Hutchinson suffered a charley horse in his three-sack game Sunday and should be good to go for this week's game against the Vikings. Dave Birkett, Detroit Free Press, 20 Sep. 2022 Patrick McClellan uses a 32-pill regimen each day to ease the suffering from his rare form of muscular dystrophy, which can feel like a charley horse that violently spreads across the lower half of his body. Star Tribune, 13 June 2021 Pillar crashed into the fence at Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia on Thursday and suffered a charley horse, but remained in the game until the Giants lost 10-2. Kerry Crowley, The Mercury News, 2 Aug. 2019 Shortly after UConn’s 100-49 victory over South Florida Saturday night, Kia Nurse stood in the bowels of the Sun Dome and was asked if a charley horse sustained three days earlier at East Carolina was much of an issue. Mike Anthony, courant.com, 7 Jan. 2018 All of a sudden there’s a loud scream, and sobs from a shopper who got a charley horse. Allison P. Davis, The Cut, 29 Sep. 2017 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'charley horse.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

Etymology

from Charley, nickname for Charles

First Known Use

1886, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of charley horse was in 1886

Dictionary Entries Near charley horse

Cite this Entry

“Charley horse.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/charley%20horse. Accessed 4 Mar. 2024.

Kids Definition

charley horse

noun
char·​ley horse ˈchär-lē-ˌhȯrs How to pronounce charley horse (audio)
: pain and stiffness from muscular strain or bruise especially in a leg

Medical Definition

charley horse

noun
char·​ley horse ˈchär-lē-ˌhȯrs How to pronounce charley horse (audio)
: a muscular pain, cramping, or stiffness especially of the quadriceps that results from a strain or bruise

More from Merriam-Webster on charley horse

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!