work·​horse ˈwərk-ˌhȯrs How to pronounce workhorse (audio)
: a horse used chiefly for labor as distinguished from driving, riding, or racing
: a person who performs most of the work of a group task
: a hardworking person
: something that is markedly useful, durable, or dependable

Examples of workhorse in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Best Robot Vacuum: Shark Detect Pro Self-Empty Robot Vacuum This robot vacuum is a straightforward workhorse with smart mapping abilities and an impressively small footprint. Ella Field, Better Homes & Gardens, 13 Mar. 2024 Seven of the jets were Su-34 fighter-bombers, workhorse aircraft of the Russian army, of which three went down in a single day. Katya Soldak, Forbes, 29 Feb. 2024 This reusable tarp with handles has been a workhorse in my garden for collecting organic matter and transporting it to its proper place. Kristin Guy, Sunset Magazine, 18 Jan. 2024 Shop the elegant workhorse for a whopping $318 off. Rachel Simon, Southern Living, 21 Mar. 2024 Cabbage has spent an eternity as the workhorse of the stir-fry and the braise, the quiet companion to endless duck legs and pulled pork sandwiches. Kim Severson, New York Times, 10 Mar. 2024 Sheet pans are the underestimated, underappreciated workhorses of your kitchen. Olga Massov, Washington Post, 4 Mar. 2024 Morgan, who was promoted to the Panthers’ president of football operations and general manager last month, has gained a reputation for being a workhorse in the film room. Mike Kaye, Charlotte Observer, 26 Feb. 2024 Coupled with workhorse Miles Mikolas and comeback candidate Steven Matz, that should be enough for a decent though not spectacular rotation, backed by quality closer Ryan Helsley. Dan Schlossberg, Forbes, 19 Feb. 2024

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'workhorse.' 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 workhorse was in the 15th century

Dictionary Entries Near workhorse

Cite this Entry

“Workhorse.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 17 Apr. 2024.

Kids Definition


work·​horse ˈwərk-ˌhȯ(ə)rs How to pronounce workhorse (audio)
: a horse used for hard work (as on a farm)
: a person who does most of the work of a group task
: something that is useful, durable, or dependable

More from Merriam-Webster on workhorse

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