horn

noun
\ ˈhȯrn How to pronounce horn (audio) \

Definition of horn

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1a : one of the usually paired bony processes that arise from the head of many ungulates and that are found in some extinct mammals and reptiles: such as
(1) : one of the permanent paired hollow sheaths of keratin usually present in both sexes of cattle and their relatives that function chiefly for defense and arise from a bony core anchored to the skull — see cow illustration
(2) : antler
(3) : a permanent solid horn of keratin that is attached to the nasal bone of a rhinoceros
(4) : one of a pair of permanent bone protuberances from the skull of a giraffe or okapi that are covered with hairy skin
b : a part like an animal's horn attributed especially to the devil
c : a natural projection or excrescence from an animal resembling or suggestive of a horn
d(1) : the tough fibrous material consisting chiefly of keratin that covers or forms the horns of cattle and related animals, hooves, or other horny parts (such as claws or nails)
(2) : a manufactured product (such as a plastic) resembling horn
e : a hollow horn used to hold something
2 : something resembling or suggestive of a horn: such as
a : one of the curved ends of a crescent
b : a sharp mountain peak
c : a body of land or water shaped like a horn
d : a beak-shaped part of an anvil
e : a high pommel of a saddle
f : cornu
3a : an animal's horn used as a wind instrument
b : a brass wind instrument: such as
(1) : hunting horn
(2) : french horn
c : a wind instrument used in a jazz band especially : trumpet
d : a usually electrical device that makes a noise like that of a horn
4 : a source of strength
5 : one of the equally disadvantageous alternatives presented by a dilemma
6 slang : telephone

Horn

geographical name
\ ˈhȯrn How to pronounce Horn (audio) \
variants: or North Cape

Definition of Horn (Entry 2 of 2)

cape just south of the Arctic Circle in northwestern Iceland

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from horn

Noun

horn adjective
horned \ ˈhȯrnd How to pronounce horned (audio) also  ˈhȯr-​nəd \ adjective
hornedness \ ˈhȯr-​nəd-​nəs How to pronounce hornedness (audio) , ˈhȯrn(d)-​nəs \ noun
hornless \ ˈhȯrn-​ləs How to pronounce hornless (audio) \ adjective
hornlessness noun
hornlike \ ˈhȯrn-​ˌlīk How to pronounce hornlike (audio) \ adjective

Synonyms for horn

Synonyms: Noun

cornet, cornucopia

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

Examples of horn in a Sentence

Noun

musketeers carrying their gunpowder in powder horns

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

That included 15 fast-break points, the last coming when Marina Mabrey found Jackie Young for a transition layup to beat the horn and give Notre Dame a 75-59 lead entering the final quarter. Aaron Beard, The Seattle Times, "Ogunbowale, No. 5 Notre Dame beats No. 9 NC State 95-72," 18 Feb. 2019 If the rear door isn’t opened, the horn chirps six times. Ellen Byron, WSJ, "Despite Prevention Efforts, Hot-Car Casualties Are Rising," 11 Feb. 2019 Before the three-tone air horn finishes its melody, the seniors at Dr. Armando Badia Senior Center are already making their way to the burbling truck in the parking lot with money in hand. Carlos Frías, miamiherald, "This Miami food truck is a grocery store on wheels — where convenience comes to you," 2 July 2018 Experts say the rhino horn is becoming more lucrative than drugs. Nicole Chavez, CNN, "5 cool, and not-so-cool things, that have happened since the last Earth Day," 22 Apr. 2018 Estefan sings the theme song of the new show which has the same lyrics of the original sitcom but features horns and a tropical beat. Johnny Diaz, Sun-Sentinel.com, "Gloria Estefan joining the cast of 'One Day At A Time' on Netflix," 25 June 2018 Albums recorded at Wavelab Studios picked up the horn and rattling wheels, imprinting the location on many sessions. Aaron Gilbreath, Longreads, "Finding the Soundtrack to My Desert Life," 25 Apr. 2018 Around the horn There were plenty of other top pitching performances this week in the Phillies system. Marc Narducci, Philly.com, "Cole Irvin among impressive minor-league Phillies pitchers in first week," 12 Apr. 2018 That’s the quandary facing investors as the bull market for stocks grays around the horns. Adam Shell, USA TODAY, "401(k) investors: 9 ways to profit from an aging bull market," 12 Mar. 2018

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

See More

First Known Use of horn

Noun

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for horn

Noun

Middle English, going back to Old English, going back to Germanic *hurna- (whence also Old Frisian, Old High German & Old Norse horn "horn," Gothic haurn), going back to Indo-European *ḱr̥-n-o, perhaps originally "object made of bony material from the head" (whence also Latin cornum, cornū "horn," Welsh carn "hoof, hilt, handle," Breton karn "hoof," and, with an additional velar suffix, Sanskrit śŕ̥ṅgam "horn"), derivative of a base *ḱer-, elsewhere with laryngeal element *ḱer-h2- "bony material constituting the skull or horns" — more at kerato-

Note: Also in Germanic *her-uta- "stag, hart, deer"—see hart. The Latin u-stem cornū perhaps reflects an earlier *korū̆ merged with *korno- (see Alan Nussbaum, Head and Horn in Indo-European, Berlin, 1986, p. 4).

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about horn

Dictionary Entries near horn

hormospore

Hormoz

Hormuz

horn

Horn

Hornaday

horn alligator

Statistics for horn

Last Updated

19 Mar 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for horn

The first known use of horn was before the 12th century

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for horn

horn

noun

English Language Learners Definition of horn

: one of the hard pointed parts that grows on the head of some animals (such as cattle, goats, or sheep)
: a hard pointed part that grows on the nose of a rhinoceros
: the hard material of which horns are made

horn

noun
\ ˈhȯrn How to pronounce horn (audio) \

Kids Definition of horn

1 : one of the hard bony growths on the head of many hoofed animals (as cattle, goats, or sheep)
2 : the tough material of which horns and hooves are composed The knife handle was made of horn.
3 : a brass musical instrument (as a trumpet or French horn)
4 : a usually electrical device that makes a noise like that of a horn Drivers were blowing their horns.
5 : something shaped like or made from a horn Each soldier carried a horn of powder.
6 : a musical or signaling instrument made from an animal's horn

Other Words from horn

horned \ ˈhȯrnd \ adjective
hornless \ ˈhȯrn-​ləs \ adjective

horn

noun
\ ˈhȯ(ə)rn How to pronounce horn (audio) \

Medical Definition of horn

1a : one of the usually paired bony processes that arise from the head of many ungulates and that are found in some extinct mammals and reptiles especially : one of the permanent paired hollow sheaths of keratin usually present in both sexes of cattle and their relatives that function chiefly for defense and arise from a bony core anchored to the skull
b : the tough fibrous material consisting chiefly of keratin that covers or forms the horns of cattle and related animals, hooves, or other horny parts (as claws or nails)
2 : cornu

Other Words from horn

horned \ ˈhȯ(ə)rnd How to pronounce horned (audio) \ adjective

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on horn

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with horn

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for horn

Spanish Central: Translation of horn

Nglish: Translation of horn for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of horn for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about horn

Comments on horn

What made you want to look up horn? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

the range of authority or knowledge

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Original Meanings Quiz

  • rembrandt-painting-a-young-scholar-and-his-tutor
  • Which of the following is the earliest known sense of the word awe?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!