: drawn or operated by one horse
: small, small-time
… the only way a lot of kids stuck in one-horse towns know that they can find life-changing fame and fortune is on the stage.Neely Tucker

Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web Unfortunately, a ruling from a one-horse federal courtroom in Texas reminds us that there’s almost an endless supply of those litigants and the judges who run with them. Michael Hiltzik, Los Angeles Times, 7 Apr. 2023

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

Word History

First Known Use

1734, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of one-horse was in 1734

Dictionary Entries Near one-horse

Cite this Entry

“One-horse.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/one-horse. Accessed 7 Jun. 2023.

Kids Definition


: small and unimportant
a one-horse town

More from Merriam-Webster on one-horse

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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