ˈhȯs How to pronounce hoss (audio)
plural hosses
informal : horse entry 1 sense 1a(1)
used especially in representations of southern and southwestern U.S. speech
"I went straight to the camp of the cavalrymen, an' found them just coolin' off an' dressin' down their hosses after what looked to me like a big ride."Zane Grey
informal : horse entry 1 sense 7
He [J. J. Watt] is still a hoss. Watt played 91.5 percent of the Texans' defensive snaps last season, the highest of any free agent defensive lineman.Gregg Rosenthal

Examples of hoss in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The hoss fight ended in a double-countout, but not before Reed delivered a Death Valley Driver through the barricade. Alfred Konuwa, Forbes, 20 Nov. 2023 All that’s missing, of course, is a big hoss who demands multiple blockers. oregonlive, 27 Aug. 2021 Also, defensive tackle DeMarvin Leal is a hoss, and looked every bit of his five stars in harassing both LSU quarterbacks throughout the night. Brent Zwerneman, ExpressNews.com, 29 Nov. 2020 The Samsung Evo Plus NVMe drive is a good choice, the Comet Lake CPU is snappy, and the 73Wh battery is a hoss—particularly in such a slim (15.5mm), lightweight (2.4 lb) laptop. Jim Salter, Ars Technica, 10 Sep. 2020

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'hoss.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


regional variant of horse entry 1 in England and North America

Note: Assimilative loss of /r/ before /s/ is attested in a number of words in early Modern English (compare ass entry 2, bust entry 2, cuss entry 1, and the standard pronunciation of Worcester). R. Jordan finds evidence of the change from ca. 1300 (Handbuch der mittelenglischen Grammatik: Lautlehre, 3. Auflage [Heidelberg, 1968], pp. 150-51).

First Known Use

1815, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of hoss was in 1815

Dictionary Entries Near hoss

Cite this Entry

“Hoss.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/hoss. Accessed 21 Jul. 2024.

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