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

Her workhorse mentality and being a solid defender at that end and a true team player on the offensive end was really great for us. Glenn Graham,, "2018-19 High School Female Athlete of the Year: McDonogh three-sport star Julia Dorsey," 2 July 2019 The workhorse back has become a key part of the team’s passing game over the last two seasons, reeling in 108 of his 149 targets for 966 yards and eight touchdowns. Michael Beller,, "Fantasy Football 2019: Six Players Not as Valuable as Their Current Draft Position Indicates," 2 July 2019 This workhorse is decidedly heavier than either of the previous models, but the PowerCore+ 26800 makes up for its weight in a big way. Julianne Ross, CNN Underscored, "Over 20,000 people love these portable chargers," 2 July 2019 Experts have urged Metro to focus on improving a dozen workhorse bus lines that have accounted for more than one-third of its ridership losses this decade. Laura J. Nelson,, "L.A. is hemorrhaging bus riders — worsening traffic and hurting climate goals," 27 June 2019 Analysts had been voicing concern about the poor early showing for Boeing at the biennial show, the most prestigious in the industry, chalking up the slow deal flow to the woes of its workhorse model, the 737 MAX. Bernhard Warner, Fortune, "Why This Airline CEO Just Bought 200 Boeing 737 MAX Planes—Despite Recent Issues," 19 June 2019 The Large Area Telescope (LAT), your workhorse instrument, looks out at about a fifth of the night sky at a time and pinpoints a gamma-ray source to an area about the size of a grain of sand held at arm’s length. Liz Kruesi, National Geographic, "Dear Fermi: What it means to see the universe's extremes," 11 June 2019 MSI GS65 Stealth Thin Ports As a gaming and workhorse laptop, the GS65 brings on the ports. Gordon Mah Ung, PCWorld, "MSI GS65 Stealth Thin Review: This thin gaming laptop features 9th-gen Core and GTX 1660 Ti," 6 June 2019 The Florida native has been a workhorse for the Tar Heels, pitching 214 1/3 innings and giving up 195 hits in there seasons with 50 games and 42 starts. Jerry Mcdonald, The Mercury News, "A’s draft Clemson shortstop Logan Davidson in first round," 3 June 2019

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.

See More

First Known Use of workhorse

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about workhorse

Statistics for workhorse

Last Updated

6 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for workhorse

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

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

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

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


food or victuals

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Farm Idioms Quiz

  • cow coming home
  • What does 'poke' refer to in the expression 'pig in a poke'?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!


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!