work·​horse | \ˈwərk-ˌhȯrs \

Definition of workhorse 

1 : a horse used chiefly for labor as distinguished from driving, riding, or racing

2a(1) : a person who performs most of the work of a group task

(2) : a hardworking person

b : something that is markedly useful, durable, or dependable

c : horse sense 7

Examples of workhorse in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

The $25 million machine was once a workhorse, flying workers and supplies to offshore facilities, but about a 100 of them have been mothballed for two years or more since two fatal crashes in 2013 and 2016. Robert Wall, WSJ, "Choppers Try to Rotate From Oil Industry to the Military," 1 Dec. 2018 These boots are workhorses that can handle some seriously mucky garden conditions—hence the name. Stephanie Eckelkamp, Good Housekeeping, "14 of the Best Gardening Boots, Clogs, and Shoes You Can Buy on Amazon," 29 May 2018 Boeing rolled out its 10,000th 737 jet Tuesday, marking the latest milestone for the workhorse jet that just celebrated its 50th anniversary in April 2017. Ben Mutzabaugh, USA TODAY, "Boeing's 10,000th 737 rolls off the assembly line," 13 Mar. 2018 Justin Jackson, Chargers: Jackson is a workhorse — 5,440 career rushing yards as a four-year starter at Northwestern — and a great pass catcher. Eddie Brown,, "32 Fantasy Football Impact Rookies to Watch," 7 June 2018 But with Detroit selecting Auburn's Kerryon Johnson with the 43rd selection, Detroit is banking on finding its workhorse of the future. Lorenzo Reyes, USA TODAY, "Nine NFL veterans who have been put on notice after NFL draft," 28 Apr. 2018 Here are my kitchen workhorses: Knives Multi-knife block sets are popular, but most home cooks can get by handily with just three types of knives. Eric Velasco,, "The best kitchen tools and how to use them," 27 Apr. 2018 The company’s workhorse Falcon 9 rocket is scheduled to lift off at 4:30 p.m. from Space Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. Marco Santana,, "SpaceX to launch cargo from Space Coast," 2 Apr. 2018 Jakubowski then leaned on Morgan to be the team’s workhorse as a senior. Paul Johnson, Elgin Courier-News, "Huntley's Kyle Morgan is the Courier-News Baseball Player of the Year," 24 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'workhorse.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of workhorse

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Statistics for workhorse

Last Updated

7 Dec 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for workhorse

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

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More Definitions for workhorse



English Language Learners Definition of workhorse

: a dependable person who does a lot of work

: a dependable machine or vehicle that is used to do a lot of work

More from Merriam-Webster on workhorse

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with workhorse

Britannica English: Translation of workhorse for Arabic Speakers

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