horse

noun
\ ˈhȯrs How to pronounce horse (audio) \
plural horses also horse

Definition of horse

 (Entry 1 of 3)

1a(1) : 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
(2) : racehorse lost a lot of money playing the horses
b : a male horse especially : stallion
c : a recent or extinct animal (such as a zebra, ass, or onager) of the horse family
2a : jackstay
b : a frame usually with legs used for supporting something (such as planks or staging) : sawhorse
c(1) gymnastics : pommel horse
(2) gymnastics : vaulting horse
3 horse plural : cavalry
4 geology : a mass of the same geological character as the wall rock that occurs within a vein of useful mineral matter
5 : horsepower a car with 275 horses
6 slang : heroin
7 : an athlete whose performance is consistently strong and reliable a team with the horses to win the pennant
8 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
from the horse's mouth
: from the original source

horse

verb
horsed; horsing

Definition of horse (Entry 2 of 3)

transitive verb

1 : to provide with a horse (see horse sense 1a(1)) horsing a coach a horsed vehicle
2 : 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

horse

adjective

Definition of horse (Entry 3 of 3)

1a : of or relating to a horse (see horse sense 1a(1)) a horse farm
b : hauled or powered by a horse a horse barge
2 : large or coarse of its kind
3 : mounted on horses horse guards

Illustration of horse

Illustration of horse

Noun

horse 1a(1): 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

In the meaning defined above

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from horse

Noun

horseless \ ˈhȯr-​sləs How to pronounce horseless (audio) \ adjective
horselike \ ˈhȯrs-​ˌlīk How to pronounce horselike (audio) \ adjective

Synonyms for horse

Synonyms: Noun

equine, nag, steed

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

Examples of horse in a Sentence

Noun

a car with 275 horses He lost a lot of money on the horses.

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

In the real world, this issue is one of the reasons humans ride horses and donkeys but not, say, cattle. William Gurstelle, Popular Mechanics, "'Game of Thrones' Science: Could a Person Ride a Dragon?," 15 Apr. 2019 No motored transportation is allowed on the island, so tourists and locals alike travel by horse and carriage or bicycle. Cnt Editors, Condé Nast Traveler, "The Best Islands in the U.S.: 2018 Readers' Choice Awards," 9 Oct. 2018 All of California isn’t vegan with wild hair, just like all of Texas isn’t overly crazy conservative, southern or hick accents, riding horses and shooting armadillos. Emily Bloch, Teen Vogue, "Here's What Texas Stylists Have to Say About Ted Cruz's "Hair Dye" Comment," 10 Sep. 2018 Along with the alpacas, the ranch is home to other animals, like horses, chickens, dogs, and cats—all which can be visited and fed during your stay. Elizabeth Gulino, House Beautiful, "This California Airbnb is Actually a Working Alpaca Ranch, And It’s Only $74 a Night," 17 Apr. 2019 In 1910 at a Paris racecourse, a horse (which ironically wasn’t properly hobbled) escaped and bolted into a crowd of spectators. Serah-marie Mcmahon, Teen Vogue, "This New Book Is All About the Dark (And Sometimes Bloody) History of Fashion," 12 Apr. 2019 Bill Shoemaker has also ridden the most Kentucky Derby horses (26) in history. Logan Sykes, Town & Country, "23 Kentucky Derby Facts That Will Surprise You," 26 Mar. 2019 The backdrops are static and wallpaper-like, the animals ultra-fake—toy birds, an inflatable horse, a cutout deer—and Red Star is at the center of them all, dressed in ceremonial Crow clothing that’s as contemporary as last month’s runway offerings. Robert Sullivan, Vogue, "Wendy Red Star's New Exhibition Is Part Historical Corrective, Part Ghost Story," 2 Mar. 2019 Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport has fuzzy miniature horses, and last month, Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport began letting fliers pet baby alligators. Katherine Lagrave, Condé Nast Traveler, "How Flying With Pets Will Change in 2019," 14 Dec. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Although this vehicle was never officially part of the USPS fleet, a handful of carriers relied on the Model-T Snowbird attachment kit to plod along snowy routes, providing an alternative to horse and sleigh. Popular Mechanics Editors, Popular Mechanics, "12 Geeky Ways to Deliver Mail: U.S. Postal Service Technology Through the Ages," 18 Jan. 2019 Segway Polo is similar to horse polo, except that, instead of horses, players cruise the field on Segways. Staff, The Christian Science Monitor, "Meanwhile in ... Kazakhstan, an entire nation is struggling to learn a new alphabet," 7 June 2018 In the aftermath of Justify’s win in the Kentucky Derby, will horse racing ever matter in this country beyond the Triple Crown races? Jim Lefko, San Antonio Express-News, "Sports writers discuss: Did the Saints jump the gun on UTSA's Davenport?," 11 May 2018 The parking lot fills with folks on large tricycles (the beachside alternative to horse and buggy) to welcome family and friends. Vincent Crampton, OrlandoSentinel.com, "Explore Florida's Sarasota County: Say bye bye, Ohio for pie pie, Pinecraft," 6 May 2018 Take saddle sores, which aren’t limited to horse riders. Christine Ro, The Atlantic, "How Cycling Clothing Opened Doors for Women," 15 Apr. 2018 Dog trainer to horse whisperer Caldwell is likely best known as a dog trainer at the PetSmart in the Eastgate area of Union Township. Sheila Vilvens, Cincinnati.com, "The join up: When veterans and wild horses build trust with each other," 22 Feb. 2018 When the fish was horsed into shallow water, all the hooks but one were straightened or broken. Bryce Miller, sandiegouniontribune.com, "Meet Kevin Mattson, the most fished-crazed person in San Diego," 2 Mar. 2018 Local debate: Would horse-and-buggy ordinance force out Amish? Editors, USA TODAY, "5 things you need to know Tuesday," 19 Dec. 2017

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

Horse hooves thunder down green acres as mallets clank against polo balls in the setting sun. Elisabeth Moughon, The Courier-Journal, "An elegant, nitty-gritty look at the Louisville Polo Club," 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, "California storm: More rain and wind on the way," 18 Feb. 2017

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.

See More

First Known Use of horse

Noun

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

Verb

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

Adjective

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

History and Etymology for horse

Noun, Verb, and Adjective

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about horse

Statistics for horse

Last Updated

12 May 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for horse

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

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for horse

horse

noun

English Language Learners Definition of horse

: a large animal that is used for riding and for carrying and pulling things
: a frame used to support a piece of wood while it is being cut with a saw
: a large piece of equipment used in gymnastics

horse

noun
\ ˈhȯrs How to pronounce horse (audio) \

Kids Definition of horse

1 : a large hoofed animal that feeds especially on grasses and is used as a work animal and for riding
2 : a frame that supports something (as wood while being cut)
3 : a piece of gymnasium equipment used for vaulting exercises
from the horse's mouth
: from the original source

horse

noun
\ ˈhȯ(ə)rs How to pronounce horse (audio) \
plural horses also horse

Medical Definition of horse

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

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on horse

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for horse

Spanish Central: Translation of horse

Nglish: Translation of horse for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of horse for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about horse

Comments on horse

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

WORD OF THE DAY

a strong desire or propensity

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Challenging Vocabulary Quiz Returns!

  • stylized drawing of woman pole vaulting across gap to get trophy
  • Which is a synonym of fuliginous?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

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!