dead horse


: an exhausted or profitless topic or issue
usually used in the phrases beat a dead horse and flog a dead horse

Examples of dead horse in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Courtesy Jim Bill Anderson In Hemphill County, which is located in the Panhandle, over a thousand missing or dead cattle have been reported, as well as several dead horses, goats and sheep. Nicole Acevedo, NBC News, 3 Mar. 2024 Perhaps this sounds like kicking a dead horse, since the DCEU is over, it’s been talked to death with regard to its failures, and now the problem of super-failure is every studio’s problem, including Marvel who just had the #1 worst franchise drop of all time. Mark Hughes, Forbes, 28 Feb. 2024 But seven dead horses in a little more than a week? Dan Wolken, USA TODAY, 7 May 2023 The new safety initiatives would have only impacted one of the 12 dead horses: Kimberley Dream. Stephanie Kuzydym, The Courier-Journal, 30 June 2023 Twelve dead horses — two on the undercard of the Kentucky Derby — put the venerable sport under red hot scrutiny. Joe Drape, New York Times, 10 June 2023 The two dead horses trained by Joseph prompted the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission to suspend Joseph indefinitely pending an investigation. John Cherwa, Los Angeles Times, 6 May 2023 You guys are beating a dead horse. Amy Haneline, USA TODAY, 9 Nov. 2022 Later in the story, the editor, Julius Krebs Damsbo, will cycle through the seasons in a few brief still-frame montages, focusing on a stretch of wilderness or a dead horse’s remains, as if to remind us of the impermanence and cosmic insignificance of all living things. Justin Changfilm Critic, Los Angeles Times, 9 Feb. 2023

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'dead 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

First Known Use

1830, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of dead horse was in 1830

Dictionary Entries Near dead horse

Cite this Entry

“Dead horse.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 21 Apr. 2024.

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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