work·​horse | \ ˈwərk-ˌhȯrs How to pronounce workhorse (audio) \

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

Examples of workhorse in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

For this new arena of competition, ULA is building a new workhorse rocket—a reusable one. Robin Seemangal, Popular Mechanics, "A Workhorse Rocket Maker Tries to Touch the Sun—And Stay Relevant," 16 Aug. 2018 Falcon Heavy was expected to help SpaceX win more lucrative national security missions that required greater carrying capacity than its workhorse Falcon 9 rocket, which was certified by the Air Force in 2015. Samantha Masunaga,, "SpaceX's Falcon Heavy rocket gets Air Force certification," 22 June 2018 The action, however, followed months of haggling between the manufacturer and airlines over the deadline for completing inspections on engines common to the popular Boeing 737, an industry workhorse. Bart Jansen, USA TODAY, "FAA orders inspections after fatal Southwest engine failure, restricts other flights," 19 Apr. 2018 Moving to what’s under the hood, although GM’s workhorse 6.2- and 5.3-liter V8s carry over with some changes, a turbocharged 3.0-liter inline six diesel will join the Sierra engine lineup later in the model year. Jeff Yip, Houston Chronicle, "GMC hatches next-gen 2019 half-ton, offers off-road version, carbon-fiber bed," 7 Apr. 2018 An all-new replacement for the commuter workhorse is unlikely to appear until... Holman W. Jenkins, WSJ, "Airbus’s Lesson for Young Socialists," 19 Feb. 2019 More than 10,000 of the single-aisle jets have been produced since the plane entered service in 1968, earning it a reputation as a reliable workhorse among the world’s commercial airlines. Barbara Peterson, Condé Nast Traveler, "The FAA, Boeing Issue Alerts for 737 Max 8 Planes After Lion Air Crash," 9 Nov. 2018 Rather than sulk and drown himself in his thoughts of melancholy, Greedo, steadfast on being a rap immortal, morphed into an indomitable workhorse. Carl Lamarre, Billboard, "03 Greedo on His 20-Year Prison Sentence & Why His Legacy Will Be 'Bigger Than Michael Jackson'," 22 May 2018 Lio, a junior pitcher, will be a workhorse and serve as a quiet leader, according to Mustari. Brett Christie,, "Pioneer Press baseball preview: Metro Suburban Conference," 15 Mar. 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

13 Apr 2019

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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

Comments on workhorse

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marked by a state of overwhelming emotion

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