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

One defensive anchor man, probably Declan Rice for the foreseeable future, flanked by two energetic workhorses - in the recent friendlies Jordan Henderson and Ross Barkley., "Gareth Southgate Is Right to Make James Maddison Wait for His First England Cap," 11 Sep. 2019 Like plant scientists' traditional lab workhorse, the mustard weed Arabidopsis thaliana, monkeyflowers grow fast, produce a lot of seeds, and have a simple genome—appealing traits for lab studies. Elizabeth Pennisi, Science | AAAS, "Meet the monkeyflower, a weed that may hold the key to zebra stripes and other biological mysteries," 29 Aug. 2019 Marquez, 12-5 with a 4.76 ERA, is Colorado’s workhorse, pitching 174 innings, the most in the National League. Patrick Saunders, The Denver Post, "Rockies put German Marquez, Raimel Tapia on injured list," 26 Aug. 2019 The rainforest, which is half the size of the United States, is an environmental workhorse, absorbing heat, storing carbon dioxide, and pumping water into the atmosphere Environmentalists blame Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro. Alexander Smith, NBC News, "Amazon wildfires could be 'game over' for climate change fight: The Morning Rundown," 23 Aug. 2019 To wean itself off its costly Delta boosters (as well as the Russian rocket engines that go with its workhorse Atlas V rocket), ULA has been developing the Vulcan rocket to cut costs while maintaining performance. Eric Berger, Ars Technica, "Four rocket companies are competing for Air Force funding, and it is war," 12 Aug. 2019 Now a relic, dories were for centuries the workhorses of the fishing fleets. Billy Baker,, "In Gloucester, racing dory boats is a test of tradition," 25 June 2019 Although the company routinely lands boosters after flights of its workhorse Falcon 9 rocket, SpaceX has yet to recover all three boosters after a Falcon Heavy launch. Jackie Wattles, CNN, "SpaceX's Falcon Heavy will launch Bill Nye's science experiment into orbit," 24 June 2019 The berries were smaller than the typical Driscoll’s workhorse, cute as grannies, powder-puff at their pinkest, with patches of yellow-ish white. Dana Goodyear, The New Yorker, "Rosé Berries Have Arrived," 11 Aug. 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.

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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

14 Sep 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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recurring in steady succession

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