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

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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 Rescuers tethered up to the steep area and secured her via a harness, which was used to lower her to safety. Michael Mcdaniel, The Arizona Republic, "Firefighters rescue woman at Papago Park's Hole in the Rock in Phoenix," 11 Apr. 2021 What Sara doesn't know is that Mariana has asked Elroy (Héctor Jiménez) to tamper with the harness. Emily Tannenbaum, Glamour, "The Who Killed Sara? Ending, Explained (Plus, the Good News About Season 2)," 10 Apr. 2021 The car seat harnesses are the most crucial, so look for a system with a five-point safety harness. Jennifer Blair, chicagotribune.com, "The best travel system stroller," 23 Mar. 2021 Under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), service animals are not required to wear a harness, ID or vest. Christopher Elliott, USA TODAY, "Travelers need to stop faking disabilities. It's hurting people who DO have them," 19 Mar. 2021 The classic cheese pie from Martha Dear was secured tightly in the passenger seat, like a puppy in a car harness, immovable and ready for transport back to the ’burbs. Washington Post, "Martha Dear doubles down on the seduction of sourdough to make pizzas like no other," 15 Mar. 2021 With a harness, the test dummy largely stays in place. CBS News, ""Horrific" side crash test videos raise safety concerns about some car booster seats," 6 Feb. 2020 The legislation would allow casinos to operate card games without also having to run quarter horse or harness races or jai alai matches. Skyler Swisher, sun-sentinel.com, "Hold the horses: Gambling change could end harness racing at Pompano Park," 12 Apr. 2021 More than 7,000 dog owners have given the harness rave reviews. Jennifer Aldrich, Better Homes & Gardens, "Thousands of Owners Are 'Amazed' with This No-Pull Dog Harness That Makes Escaping Impossible," 7 Apr. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Many progressives say Obama blew an opportunity to harness public anger over the Great Recession and use it to justify a more ambitious agenda along the lines of Roosevelt's New Deal. NBC news, "Biden’s 100-day bet," 26 Apr. 2021 Anti-apartheid groups around the globe coalesced to harness punitive economic tactics, such as boycotts of South African products, and to pressure their governments to apply sanctions. Shelley Inglis, The Conversation, "For Vladimir Putin and other autocrats, ruthlessly repressing the opposition is often a winning way to stay in power," 22 Apr. 2021 As Kirigan, Barnes plays a Shadow Summoner, the same kind of Grisha with the power to harness darkness that created the Fold hundreds of years ago. Nick Romano, EW.com, "Ben Barnes untangles the complexity of General Kirigan on Shadow and Bone," 22 Apr. 2021 Short, until recently the chief of staff to former Vice President Mike Pence, helped launch the Coalition to Protect American Workers to harness opposition to Biden’s tax initiatives and pressure Congress to slam on the brakes. David M. Drucker, Washington Examiner, "'Downright radical': GOP says Biden tax hikes driving wedge between Democrats and suburban voters," 12 Apr. 2021 The humans that follow them around want to understand or explain what the monsters want (or figure out ways to harness or exploit the monsters’ power) and are therefore, by definition, supporting players. Matt Zoller Seitz, Vulture, "My Heart Belongs to the MonsterVerse," 7 Apr. 2021 Despite his dazzling debut last year (3-0, 0.53 ERA, 21 strikeouts in 17 innings), he was slated for the alternate site in Worcester, to harness his delivery and continue to develop his arsenal against lefthanded hitters. BostonGlobe.com, "Tanner Houck is primed for a Fenway restart — this time with family on hand," 2 Apr. 2021 The massacre has opened the public’s eyes, and Asian American activists are hoping to harness the momentum and turn it into sustained action. Los Angeles Times, "Q&A: Two generations of Asian American activists on making the most of this moment," 24 Mar. 2021 Community leaders say Elliott's legacy will depend on his ability to harness community anger, pain and outrage and deliver on police reform in the city of about 31,000, where most residents are people of color. Shannon Prather And Tim Harlow, Star Tribune, "Brooklyn Center Mayor Mike Elliott faces biggest test yet," 15 Apr. 2021

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

Middle English harneys, herneys "equipment of a man-at-arms, body armor, fittings for a draft animal, apparel, baggage," borrowed from Anglo-French herneis, harneis (also continental Old French), probably borrowed from Old Norse *hernest "provisions for an armed force," from herr "host, army" + nest "provisions," going back to Germanic *nesta- (whence also Old English nest "food, provisions," Old High German -nest, in weganest "provisions for a journey"), derivative, with the noun and adjective suffix -to-, from the base of *nesan- "to save, be saved, return safely" — more at harry, nostalgia

Note: The Norse word was presumably assimilated to the French nominal and adjectival suffix -eis (going back to Latin -ēnsis; compare -ese entry 1), so that the compound was resegmented as harn-eis.

Verb

Middle English harneysen, harneyschen, hernessen "to equip with arms or armor, place accoutrements on a horse or ox, dress," borrowed from Anglo-French harneiser, herneiser, hernescher "to make ready, equip" (continental Old French harneschier, herneschier), derivative of harneis "equipment of a man-at-arms, baggage" — more at harness entry 1

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Time Traveler for harness

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for harness

Last Updated

2 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Harness.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/harness. Accessed 12 May. 2021.

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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.

Comments on harness

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