war·​horse | \ ˈwȯr-ˌhȯrs How to pronounce warhorse (audio) \

Definition of warhorse

1 : a horse used in war : charger
2 : a person with long experience in a field especially : a veteran soldier or public person (such as a politician)
3 : 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

Keep scrolling for more

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
See More
Recent Examples on the Web Some of the poems are what classical musicians call warhorses, work many readers will know; others—especially the late work, and the work on domestic themes—surface parts of his talent that Americans, in particular, may not have yet seen. Stephanie Burt, The New Yorker, "How Seamus Heaney Became a Poet of Happiness," 3 Oct. 2019 After Clinton’s loss to Donald Trump in the 2016 general election, Sanders is back, running as a socialist warhorse, promising endless amounts of free stuff, with those promises suddenly being taken seriously. Victor Davis Hanson, The Mercury News, "Victor Davis Hanson: Why socialism, and why now?," 30 Aug. 2019 Few summer orchestral concerts have a program as smartly curated as this one — absolutely accessible, with nary a warhorse in sight. Peter Dobrin, https://www.inquirer.com, "Classical summer: Bradley Cooper, Harry Potter, piano stars, Yannick debuts at a spiffed-up Mann Center," 5 June 2019 There are the beloved symphonic warhorses, the kind plentifully represented on Chicago Symphony Orchestra programs. John Von Rhein, chicagotribune.com, "Semyon Bychkov electrifies Orchestra Hall with blazing CSO account of Tchaikovsky's 'Manfred'," 4 May 2018 At New York cultural institutions, audiences often come for the familiar: A program of symphonic masterpieces, a full-length ballet or an operatic warhorse. Charles Passy, WSJ, "The Park Avenue Armory Offers a Canvas for Larger-Than-Life Productions," 16 July 2018 In contrast to the aging Christian-right warhorse Akin, Hawley is 30-something and whip-smart, a Yale Law School grad who clerked for Chief Justice John Roberts. Ed Kilgore, Daily Intelligencer, "Missouri GOP Senate Hopeful Goes Off the Deep End on the Sexual Revolution and Human Trafficking," 1 Feb. 2018 Presented with a phalanx of warhorses like that, you can be forgiven for thinking there must be a glue factory not far down the road. Steve Johnson, chicagotribune.com, "WLUP nostalgia: It's hard to miss what's no longer there," 7 Mar. 2018 Predictability is their business, and warhorses are their stock-in-trade. Paul Hodgins, sandiegouniontribune.com, "Opera NEO blazes new trails on a shoestring, focusing on education and unpredictability," 1 July 2018

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

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about warhorse

Statistics for warhorse

Last Updated

15 Nov 2019

Time Traveler for warhorse

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

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for warhorse


How to pronounce warhorse (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of warhorse

: a person with a lot of experience in a field especially : a soldier or politician who has served for a long time
: something (such as a work of art or musical composition) that has become very familiar because it has been played, shown, or seen many times
: a large horse used in war

More from Merriam-Webster on warhorse

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for warhorse

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with warhorse

Comments on warhorse

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


the exactly right word or phrasing

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Pass the Little Ribbons: A Pasta Word Quiz

  • rotelle pasta
  • Match the pasta to its meaning in English: Rotelle
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Dictionary Devil

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!