horse·​shoe | \ ˈhȯrs-ˌshü How to pronounce horseshoe (audio) , ˈhȯrsh- \

Definition of horseshoe

1 : a usually U-shaped band of iron fitted and nailed to the rim of a horse's hoof to protect it
2 : something (such as a valley) shaped like a horseshoe
3 horseshoes plural : a game like quoits played with horseshoes or with horseshoe-shaped pieces of metal

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Other Words from horseshoe

horseshoe transitive verb
horseshoer \ ˈhȯrs-​ˌshü-​ər How to pronounce horseshoe (audio) , ˈhȯrsh-​ \ noun

Examples of horseshoe in a Sentence

The lake was a horseshoe surrounded by tall pine trees.
Recent Examples on the Web The island would be shaped like a horseshoe and planted with willows and native grasses. Greg Stanley, Star Tribune, "To protect Mississippi River dam, Army Corps may build an island near Hastings," 16 Nov. 2020 The central horseshoe made of trilithons (two upright stones topped by a lintel) and the surrounding outer ring of stones were completed around 2500 B.C. National Geographic, "Stonehenge was part of a multi-monument complex. Here's how it fit together," 12 Nov. 2020 Yet in Dallas' court of public opinion, whether at the City Council horseshoe or in the streets, the challenge of public safety gets grossly oversimplified. Sharon Grigsby, Dallas News, "With 224 homicides this year, Dallas must get its next police chief hire right. Here’s how to do it," 13 Nov. 2020 Florida State needs a lucky rabbit’s foot, a four-leaf clover or a horseshoe. Matt Murschel,, "10 things we learned during the college football weekend," 20 Sep. 2020 The Tualatin Hills AVA is shaped like a massive horseshoe. Michael Alberty | For The Oregonian/oregonlive, oregonlive, "Willamette Valley wine map gets 2 new grape-growing regions: Tualatin Hills, Laurelwood District," 4 June 2020 Researchers determined that the SARS-CoV-2 virus emerged from horseshoe bats rather than a biowarfare lab, and generally agreed that pangolins, rather than snakes, were the likely intermediary carriers, although some support was voiced for turtles. Rafil Kroll-zaidi, Harper's Magazine, "Findings," 25 May 2020 In 2015, Baric and his colleagues were able to show that SARS-like viruses in Chinese horseshoe bats posed a particular threat to cause a new outbreak. Robert Langreth,, "The Coronavirus Hunter Is Racing for Answers in a Locked-Down Lab," 8 May 2020 Scientists traced dozens of unnamed, emerging viruses to caves inhabited by horseshoe bats. Abrahm Lustgarten, ProPublica, "How Climate Change Is Contributing to Skyrocketing Rates of Infectious Disease," 7 May 2020

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

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Time Traveler for horseshoe

Time Traveler

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

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Cite this Entry

“Horseshoe.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 14 May. 2021.

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More Definitions for horseshoe



English Language Learners Definition of horseshoe

: a U-shaped band of iron nailed to the bottom of a horse's hoof as a shoe
: something shaped like a horseshoe
US : a game in which players try to get horseshoes around a stake in the ground by throwing them at the stake from a certain distance


horse·​shoe | \ ˈhȯrs-ˌshü How to pronounce horseshoe (audio) \

Kids Definition of horseshoe

1 : a protective iron plate that is nailed to the rim of a horse's hoof
2 : something shaped like a horseshoe They put the horseshoe of roses around his neck.— Walter Farley, The Black Stallion
3 horseshoes plural : a game in which horseshoes are tossed at a stake in the ground

More from Merriam-Webster on horseshoe

Nglish: Translation of horseshoe for Spanish Speakers Encyclopedia article about horseshoe

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