harness

noun
har·​ness | \ ˈhär-nəs How to pronounce harness (audio) \

Definition of harness

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1a : the equipment other than a yoke of a draft animal
b : gear, equipment especially : military equipment for a horse or man
2a : occupational surroundings or routine get back into harness after a vacation
b : close association ability to work in harness with others— R. P. Brooks
3a : something that resembles a harness (as in holding or fastening something) a parachute harness
b : prefabricated wiring with insulation and terminals (see terminal entry 2 sense 3) ready to be attached (as in an ignition or lighting system) a wiring harness
4 : a part of a loom which holds and controls the heddles

harness

verb
harnessed; harnessing; harnesses

Definition of harness (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

1a : to put a harness on harnessed the ox
b : to attach by means of a harness harness the horses to the wagon
2 : to tie together : yoke must harness his mechanical apparatus to his creative mind— Andrew Buchanan
3 : utilize harness the computer's potential

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Synonyms for harness

Synonyms: Verb

apply, employ, exercise, exploit, operate, use, utilize

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Examples of harness in a Sentence

Noun

The pilot strapped himself into his harness before takeoff.

Verb

The horses were harnessed to the wagon. Engineers are finding new ways to harness the sun's energy to heat homes. The company is harnessing technology to provide better service to its customers. They harnessed the power of the waterfall to create electricity. harness anger to fight injustice
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

The Professional Edition also includes a shorter wire harness, as the company expects most applications to be used with backpack VR PCs. Gordon Mah Ung, PCWorld, "HP's high-res Reverb VR headset blows the screen door effect off its hinges," 19 Mar. 2019 Ann Demeulemeester’s burgundy feathers and Marni’s assemblage bibs were strapped on, an answer to the men’s harness. Vogue, "The 7 Biggest Jewelry Trends of the Fall 2019 Season," 15 Mar. 2019 Dangling hundreds of feet in the air attached to a harness and with an experienced belayer (the person at the bottom controlling the rope) at the other end was terrifying enough for me. Amy Marturana, SELF, "'Free Solo' Star Alex Honnold Explains How He Got Into the Terrifying Sport of Free Solo Climbing," 26 Feb. 2019 The Dora Milaje honors the female form by having the harness that wraps around the female body in a very sensuous way. Candice Frederick, Harper's BAZAAR, "Black Panther's Ruth E. Carter on Designing for the Revolution," 18 Feb. 2019 The ban, according to the FAA, applies to helicopters that fly with doors open, usually so passengers can take pictures, and use harnesses that can't be quickly released. Fox News, "FAA temporarily grounds open-door helicopter flights," 16 Mar. 2018 There’s a collection of armor and medieval harnesses. Mark Holgate, Vogue, "Glenn Martens Takes Y/Project Center Stage at Pitti Immagine in Florence," 9 Jan. 2019 Perhaps when Congressmen start wearing harnesses or Planned Parenthood pins their outfit choices will similarly be worth reporting on more. Lauren Alexis Fisher, Harper's BAZAAR, "House Democratic Women Wear Suffragette White to State of the Union," 6 Feb. 2019 Like it or not, the men’s red carpet harness is officially here to stay. Christian Allaire, Vogue, "Michael B. Jordan Is the Latest Hollywood Man to Rock a Harness," 28 Jan. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

And while there's no actual science backing up that fact that full moons have an effect on human behavior, more and more people have been using the sight of a full moon to help them harness peace and closure. Blake Bakkila, Good Housekeeping, "How to Create Your Own Full Moon Ritual, According to an Expert," 5 Mar. 2019 This isn’t Keasling’s first foray into harnessing the sugar-hungry microorganisms. Jill Kiedaisch, Popular Mechanics, "Scientists Use Yeast to Produce Cannabinoids Affordably and Efficiently," 1 Mar. 2019 The most recent microscope harnessed by doctors may thus launch a whole new field of nano-diagnosis. Diana Gitig, Ars Technica, "Just pee in a cup for bladder cancer detection," 10 Dec. 2018 If the Wildcats can harness that emotion the right way, there is enough veteran experience on both sides of the ball to regain possession of the Governor’s Cup. Jon Hale, The Courier-Journal, "How Kentucky football can win (or lose) against Louisville in 2018," 13 July 2018 That means that there is a huge local talent pool that the club could harness. SI.com, "Improving Newcastle's Academy Might Just Make the Magpies Premier League Regulars for Years to Come," 4 July 2018 Meanwhile, virtually invisible to mainstream consumers, the business world is agog over harnessing AI to solve a range of problems. Arif Janmohamed, Fortune, "Most ‘AI’ Companies Are Not AI Companies. Here’s How to Tell," 3 July 2018 The complex will be connected to the energy grid, and waste heat will be harnessed to serve surrounding businesses — including the new data center, EIP said. Don Stacom, Courant Community, "Gov. Malloy: Data Center On Stanley Works Site Could Create 2,500 Jobs," 2 July 2018 Read how horses in Pompeii may have been harnessed to flee the eruption. National Geographic, "Headless Pompeii Victim Wasn't Crushed to Death, After All," 29 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'harness.' 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 harness

Noun

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Verb

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for harness

Noun and Verb

Middle English herneis baggage, gear, from Anglo-French harneis, herneis, probably from Old Norse *hernest, from herr army + nest provisions

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Statistics for harness

Last Updated

16 May 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for harness

The first known use of harness was in the 14th century

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More Definitions for harness

harness

noun

English Language Learners Definition of harness

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a set of straps that are placed on an animal (such as a horse) so that it can pull something heavy
: a set of straps that are used to connect a person to something (such as a parachute or a seat)

harness

verb

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

: to put a harness on (an animal)
: to attach (an animal) to something with a harness
: to use (something) for a particular purpose

harness

noun
har·​ness | \ ˈhär-nəs How to pronounce harness (audio) \

Kids Definition of harness

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: the straps and fastenings placed on an animal so it can be controlled or prepared to pull a load

harness

verb
harnessed; harnessing

Kids Definition of harness (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : to put straps and fastenings on I harnessed the horses.
2 : to put to work : utilize Wind can be harnessed to generate power.

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Comments on harness

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