1 of 3


plural horses also horse
: a large solid-hoofed herbivorous ungulate mammal (Equus caballus, family Equidae, the horse family) domesticated since prehistoric times and used as a beast of burden, a draft animal, or for riding
: racehorse
lost a lot of money playing the horses
: a male horse
especially : stallion
: a recent or extinct animal (such as a zebra, ass, or onager) of the horse family
: a frame usually with legs used for supporting something (such as planks or staging) : sawhorse
gymnastics : pommel horse
gymnastics : vaulting horse
horse plural : cavalry
geology : a mass of the same geologic character as the wall rock that occurs within a vein of useful mineral matter
: horsepower
a car with 275 horses
slang : heroin
: an athlete whose performance is consistently strong and reliable
a team with the horses to win the pennant
or H-O-R-S-E : a game in which players take turns attempting to duplicate successful basketball shots, a letter of the word "horse" is awarded for each missed attempt, and the first player to receive all five letters loses
horseless adjective
horselike adjective

Illustration of horse

Illustration of horse
  • 1 dock
  • 2 croup
  • 3 point of hip
  • 4 loin
  • 5 back
  • 6 withers
  • 7 mane
  • 8 crest
  • 9 poll
  • 10 forelock
  • 11 forehead
  • 12 muzzle
  • 13 cheek
  • 14 throatlatch
  • 15 neck
  • 16 shoulder
  • 17 chest
  • 18 forearm
  • 19 knee
  • 20 cannon
  • 21 fetlock
  • 22 hoof
  • 23 chestnut
  • 24 elbow
  • 25 barrel
  • 26 flank
  • 27 stifle
  • 28 pastern
  • 29 coronet
  • 30 hock
  • 31 gaskin
  • 32 tail
  • 33 thigh
  • 34 buttock


2 of 3


horsed; horsing

transitive verb

: to provide with a horse (see horse sense 1a(1))
horsing a coach
a horsed vehicle
: to move by brute force
sweating gunners horsed their pieces into action Bruce Catton

intransitive verb

of a mare : to be in heat or estrus


3 of 3


: of or relating to a horse (see horse sense 1a(1))
a horse farm
: hauled or powered by a horse
a horse barge
: large or coarse of its kind
: mounted on horses
horse guards
from the horse's mouth
: from the original source

Example Sentences

Noun a car with 275 horses He lost a lot of money on the horses.
Recent Examples on the Web
According to a Facebook post, visitors can have the opportunity to get on a horse and carriage ride, enjoy cider and doughnuts, listen to some holiday caroling and watch the community tree lighting. Detroit Free Press, 26 Nov. 2022 Keke Palmer is a stream of energy, playing Emerald Haywood, a member of a horse-training family who is on the make in a handful of different ways. Ian Crouch, The New Yorker, 25 Nov. 2022 Crews were able wet the horse trail perimeters, Bridges said, as the DNR vehicles were able to use those to get to the fire. Karl Schneider, The Indianapolis Star, 24 Nov. 2022 Sharon Western contacted Masbia with an offer to house and employ migrants on her 140-acre New Hampshire horse farm. Carine Hajjar, WSJ, 24 Nov. 2022 At a scene set in a horse stable, EO perks up when a pair of horses seem to grow agitated, resisting the efforts of their trainers. K. Austin Collins, Rolling Stone, 22 Nov. 2022 From another speaker, such a line might have carried a whiff of liberal smugness, more high-horse than high-ground. Nicole Hemmer, CNN, 21 Nov. 2022 Lawmakers allocated minimal funding to oversee sports betting and assigned that oversight to state bureaucracies — such as lotteries, horse racing authorities or casino commissions — that previously had narrower responsibilities. Joe Drape, New York Times, 20 Nov. 2022 There were, however, occasional reminders of more unusual goings-on: a horse turd on the sidewalk, a golden retriever trouncing through the glass atrium. Sarah Zhang, The Atlantic, 20 Nov. 2022
While horse deaths nationwide have been on the decline -- from 790 racehorses in 2009 to 493 last year, according to the Jockey Club -- Santa Anita's numbers have fluctuated over the years. Eliott C. Mclaughlin, CNN, 11 June 2019 Horse hooves thunder down green acres as mallets clank against polo balls in the setting sun. Elisabeth Moughon, The Courier-Journal, 27 July 2017 Horse races were canceled at Santa Anita Park in Arcadia and the Los Alamitos Race Course in Cypress. Mark Gomez, The Mercury News, 18 Feb. 2017 See More

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

Word History


Noun, Verb, and Adjective

Middle English hors, from Old English; akin to Old High German hros horse

First Known Use


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


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


15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Time Traveler
The first known use of horse was before the 12th century

Dictionary Entries Near horse

Cite this Entry

“Horse.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 1 Dec. 2022.

Kids Definition

horse 1 of 2


plural horses also horse
: a large hoofed grazing domestic mammal that is used to carry or draw loads and for riding
: a male horse : stallion
: a frame that supports something (as wood while being cut)
: a piece of gymnasium equipment used for balancing and swinging movements or for vaulting exercises
horse plural : cavalry
horse adjective


2 of 2


horsed; horsing
: to provide with a horse

Medical Definition

plural horses also horse
: a large solid-hoofed herbivorous mammal of the genus Equus (E. caballus) domesticated since prehistoric times

More from Merriam-Webster on horse

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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