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 In the spirit of the old Land Rover Defender, the original 250GD was a workhorse with nothing in the way of creature comforts, just plenty of authenticity and a certain grit that comes from time in the trenches. Robert Ross, Robb Report, 14 June 2021 This workhorse of a machine does the job of seven kitchen gadgets in one. Laura Denby, Better Homes & Gardens, 21 Apr. 2021 And then there was the reputation for how luxurious this workhorse was. Tony Assenza, Car and Driver, 30 June 2020 Clearly surprised and very happy, Clermonte walked off with a workhorse of a wheelbarrow loaded with tools and garden supplies, valued at $600. Shirley Macfarland, cleveland, 3 June 2021 The company has commissioned five new custom typefaces to replace Calibri, a workhorse of a font that has been the default for all your Word docs and Outlook emails since 2007. Allison Morrow, CNN, 28 Apr. 2021 Kurtural is less concerned about wine regions close to the coast, like Napa, Sonoma and Paso Robles, than about the Central Valley, the true workhorse of California’s wine industry, including areas like the San Joaquin Valley. Esther Mobley, San Francisco Chronicle, 22 Apr. 2021 Nevertheless, SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket has become the workhorse of American and international spaceflight with its reusable booster stage. New York Times, 16 Apr. 2021 Now, easing into its routine as the workhorse of NASA's Commercial Crew Program (CCP), SpaceX is set to send up its third crewed mission to the ISS next week. Stefanie Waldek, Travel + Leisure, 16 Apr. 2021

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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Time Traveler for workhorse

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

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Statistics for workhorse

Last Updated

18 Jun 2021

Cite this Entry

“Workhorse.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 18 Jun. 2021.

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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

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for workhorse

Britannica English: Translation of workhorse for Arabic Speakers


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