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eques·​tri·​an i-ˈkwe-strē-ən How to pronounce equestrian (audio)
: of, relating to, or featuring horseback riding
equestrian Olympic events
archaic : riding on horseback : mounted
: representing a person on horseback
: of, relating to, or composed of knights


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: one who rides on horseback

Did you know?

Equestrian comes from equus, Latin for "horse". Old statues of military heroes, like the famous one of General Sherman on New York's Fifth Avenue, are frequently equestrian. In these sculptures the man always sits nobly upright on a horse, but the horse's stance varies; depending on whether the rider was killed in battle or survived, was victorious or defeated, the horse traditionally stands with four, three, or two hooves on the ground. Equestrian statues have been popular through the centuries, because until the 20th century almost every officer in Europe and America was trained in equestrian skills and combat.

Examples of equestrian in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web
O'Donnell also noted that the circus began as an equestrian art form. Amy Schwabe, Journal Sentinel, 10 May 2024 Move the existing equestrian area, provide a new barn and stables, and create new overnight equestrian campsites. John Meyer, The Denver Post, 7 May 2024 See all Example Sentences for equestrian 

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

Word History



Latin equestr-, equester of a horseman, from eques horseman, from equus horse — more at equine

First Known Use


circa 1681, in the meaning defined at sense 1a


1774, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of equestrian was circa 1681

Dictionary Entries Near equestrian

Cite this Entry

“Equestrian.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/equestrian. Accessed 22 May. 2024.

Kids Definition


1 of 2 adjective
eques·​tri·​an i-ˈkwes-trē-ən How to pronounce equestrian (audio)
: of or relating to horses, horseback riding, or people who ride horses


2 of 2 noun
: one who rides on horseback

More from Merriam-Webster on equestrian

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