eques·​tri·​an | \ i-ˈkwe-strē-ən \

Definition of equestrian

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1a : of, relating to, or featuring horseback riding equestrian Olympic events
b archaic : riding on horseback : mounted
c : representing a person on horseback
2 : of, relating to, or composed of knights



Definition of equestrian (Entry 2 of 2)

: one who rides on horseback

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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: Adjective

Wear these two together for a mod equestrian look straight off the streets of Havana. Kelsey Stiegman, Seventeen, "10 Instagram-Worthy Ways to Wear Boyfriend Jeans," 8 Jan. 2019 Salamander Resort & Spa Salamander is an opulent, sprawling equestrian-themed resort with spacious rooms, each with horse decor and outdoor space (balconies or terraces). Laura Ratliff, Condé Nast Traveler, "3 Best Day Trips from Washington, D.C.," 24 July 2018 The fashion set was perturbed when Burberry creative director Christopher Bailey sent a fleet of equestrian-like blankets down the brand's Fall 2014 runway. Sarah Bray, ELLE Decor, "The Home Accessory Sent Down The Burberry Runway," 18 Feb. 2014 The listing also has its own equestrian barn, a separate rustic cabin for camping, a four-bay garage, and heated pool. Megan Barber, Curbed, "Picture-perfect 1880 estate on 60 acres asks $3.9M," 20 Dec. 2018 After a busy week celebrating son Prince Charles' 70th birthday, the Queen still found time to live the equestrian life. Amy Mackelden, Harper's BAZAAR, "Queen Elizabeth, 92, Went Horseback Riding This Weekend—What Did You Do?," 19 Nov. 2018 Others engaged in lower-impact sports like swimming and equestrian events. Gretchen Reynolds, The Seattle Times, "Vigorous exercise, even a trek up Everest, may be safe during pregnancy," 26 Oct. 2018 This is big: There will be golf and Miraval’s signature equestrian therapy program, and, unlike Kripalu and Canyon Ranch, Miraval will serve alcohol. Klara Glowczewska, Town & Country, "The Best Places to Travel in 2019," 7 Dec. 2018 The property comes with access to the amenities of the Grand River Ranch community, which include an equestrian center and a sporting clays course The seller is Charlie Gallagher, a private-equity executive. Katherine Clarke, WSJ, "Giant Colorado Ranch With Private Saloon Seeks $36 Million," 6 Aug. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Olsen, an accomplished equestrian, competed in the tournament, and her post-show ensemble was blue ribbon-worthy. Edward Barsamian, Vogue, "Mary-Kate Olsen Makes the Case for Classic Equestrian Style," 28 Sep. 2018 Zara, who is a professional equestrian, competed in the Gatcombe Horse Trials at Gatcombe Park over the weekend with her adorable family in tow. Maggie Maloney, Town & Country, "Zara Tindall Brought Her New Daughter Lena to the Gatcombe Horse Trials This Weekend," 10 Sep. 2018 Her wedding was even equestrian themed, taking place at a San Diego stable — in part because her new husband, 27, is a professional equestrian. Kate Hogan, PEOPLE.com, "Kaley Cuoco Received Tons of Gifts at Her Wedding — But They Weren't for Her," 4 July 2018 And in February, an avid equestrian took her horse through a Pennsylvania Wendy’s drive-thru for a chocolate Frosty. Kaitlyn Schallhorn, Fox News, "Maryland Chick-fil-A restaurant serves customer on riding lawn mower in drive-thru," 21 Sep. 2018 Both Princess Anne and Zara Tindall are avid equestrians, as is Queen Elizabeth II. Amy Mackelden, Harper's BAZAAR, "Princess Charlotte Takes After Great-Grandmother Queen Elizabeth by Learning to Horse Ride," 26 Aug. 2018 Kaley is now happily married to 27-year-old equestrian Karl Cook. Kayla Keegan, Good Housekeeping, "How Kaley Cuoco Became One of the Highest-Paid Women on TV," 23 Aug. 2018 Max Mumby/Indigo—Getty Images Anne, a keen and talented equestrian, is the second child of the Queen and Prince Philip, sitting next to her brothers, Princes Charles, Andrew and Edward on the royal family tree. Kate Samuelson, Time, "Your Complete Guide to the British Royal Family Tree and Line of Succession," 23 Apr. 2018 Held at the purpose-build equestrian showground, The Derby-Park Klein Flottbeck, on the outskirts of the city, the Global Champions event takes place alongside the historic German Jumping and Dressage Derbies that have been held for decades. Aly Vance, CNN, "Hamburg 2018: Harrie Smolders on top of the world," 10 May 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'equestrian.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of equestrian


circa 1681, in the meaning defined at sense 1a


1774, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for equestrian


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

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Last Updated

17 Jan 2019

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Time Traveler for equestrian

The first known use of equestrian was circa 1681

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More Definitions for equestrian



English Language Learners Definition of equestrian

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: of or relating to the riding of horses



English Language Learners Definition of equestrian (Entry 2 of 2)

: a person who rides horses


eques·​tri·​an | \ i-ˈkwe-strē-ən \

Kids Definition of equestrian

: relating to the act of riding horses equestrian sports

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More from Merriam-Webster on equestrian

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with equestrian

Spanish Central: Translation of equestrian

Nglish: Translation of equestrian for Spanish Speakers

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a complex dispute or argument

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