war·​horse ˈwȯr-ˌhȯrs How to pronounce warhorse (audio)
: a horse used in war : charger
: a person with long experience in a field
especially : a veteran soldier or public person (such as a politician)
: something (such as a work of art or musical composition) that has become overly familiar or hackneyed due to much repetition in the standard repertoire

Examples of warhorse in a Sentence

the Democratic warhorse in the Senate a general who describes himself as an old warhorse a new production of an old warhorse
Recent Examples on the Web Old warhorses such as Jesse Jackson’s Rainbow Push and Al Sharpton’s National Action Network never really went anywhere, and they have been joined at the trough by more than 100 BLM groups led by Patrisse Cullors’s Black Lives Matter Global Network Foundation. Wilfred Reilly, National Review, 3 Jan. 2024 Her observations about how a generation takes these creators more seriously than journalistic warhorses comes with post-touchdown spikes worthy of taunting penalties. WIRED, 13 Oct. 2023 Streamlined to the point of simple-mindedness, the set-up involves a ruthless bad guy (Iko Uwais) who steals a nuclear weapon, forcing everyone’s favorite team of old warhorses to saddle up again, this time with marching orders from a government operative played by Andy Garcia. Brian Lowry, CNN, 22 Sep. 2023 Hire a music director with an engaging stage personality and penetrating musical insight that can energize tired old warhorses. Christian Hertzog, San Diego Union-Tribune, 16 June 2023 Director-choreographer Benjamin Millepied now takes his shot at the warhorse, nixing the operatics themselves and just keeping the over-the-top, hyperventilating tone of Bizet’s doomed romance. David Fear, Rolling Stone, 19 Apr. 2023 The Phantom was a great warhorse in its day. Kevin V. Brown, Popular Mechanics, 8 Oct. 2020 That idea was inspired by the Rossini comic opera warhorse, in which Liverman found himself once again singing the role of the wily barber, Figaro. Michael Phillips, Chicago Tribune, 8 Feb. 2023 Standards are what Bublé does best — and back then, those warhorse songs drove the holiday-music market. Chris Molanphy, Vulture, 2 Dec. 2022

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'warhorse.' 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

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of warhorse was in the 15th century

Dictionary Entries Near warhorse

Cite this Entry

“Warhorse.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/warhorse. Accessed 16 Apr. 2024.

Kids Definition


: a horse used in war : charger
: a veteran soldier or politician
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