harness

noun
har·​ness | \ ˈhär-nəs How to pronounce harness (audio) \

Definition of harness

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1a : the equipment other than a yoke of a draft animal
b : gear, equipment especially : military equipment for a horse or man
2a : occupational surroundings or routine get back into harness after a vacation
b : close association ability to work in harness with others— R. P. Brooks
3a : something that resembles a harness (as in holding or fastening something) a parachute harness
b : prefabricated wiring with insulation and terminals (see terminal entry 2 sense 3) ready to be attached (as in an ignition or lighting system) a wiring harness
4 : a part of a loom which holds and controls the heddles

harness

verb
harnessed; harnessing; harnesses

Definition of harness (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

1a : to put a harness on harnessed the ox
b : to attach by means of a harness harness the horses to the wagon
2 : to tie together : yoke must harness his mechanical apparatus to his creative mind— Andrew Buchanan
3 : utilize harness the computer's potential

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Synonyms for harness

Synonyms: Verb

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Examples of harness in a Sentence

Noun The pilot strapped himself into his harness before takeoff. Verb The horses were harnessed to the wagon. Engineers are finding new ways to harness the sun's energy to heat homes. The company is harnessing technology to provide better service to its customers. They harnessed the power of the waterfall to create electricity. harness anger to fight injustice
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun The last two months have seen Montas harness that stuff. Matt Kawahara, San Francisco Chronicle, 22 Aug. 2021 The rear stability control system harness was installed incorrectly, which could result in an inactive stability control system. Detroit Free Press, 21 Aug. 2021 Starting to change that equation is the 3RF network, which aims to insert technical assistance and harness know-how from 100-plus civil society groups. Scott Peterson, The Christian Science Monitor, 4 Aug. 2021 Suzanne and Randy Pauley were sitting in the second row from the front, having arrived from Georgia the day before with their pint-sized puppy in its pink harness held up like a talisman against the wind. Chase Difeliciantonio, San Francisco Chronicle, 30 July 2021 Chris stepped on the leash, but Titi wriggled out of her harness, making capture almost impossible. BostonGlobe.com, 18 June 2021 Fasten your harness's rope to your roof using a roof anchor. Brett Dvoretz, chicagotribune.com, 10 Apr. 2021 After descending from the flux tower just as the storm hit, Saleska hung up his harness for the day. Daniel Glick, Scientific American, 3 Apr. 2017 In the sport, participants usually hook a large kite to a body harness, hold onto a bar and then put their feet into straps attached to a surfboard. NBC News, 26 Aug. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Imagine Pickles Pub and Pigtown coming to life in ways the Orioles haven’t been able to harness in years. Nick Dimarco, baltimoresun.com, 20 Sep. 2021 The Pride have already been able to harness the popularity of its top players. Julia Poe, orlandosentinel.com, 27 Aug. 2021 One of the biggest challenges e-commerce stakeholders face is understanding how to use analytical tools to harness the data from their sites. Anise Madh, Forbes, 12 May 2021 Doctors, scientists and engineers started pursuing visual prosthetics in the 1960s but have only recently been able to harness the appropriate technology to help blind people. Christof Koch, Scientific American, 10 May 2021 But Kong is showing up to the ring with his very own Mjolnir: an ax that seems able to harness the nuclear fire as Thor’s hammer does lightning (or, at the very least, that can deflect it). Washington Post, 31 Mar. 2021 Allen was able to harness the press as both a shield and a weapon. Maria Fontoura, Rolling Stone, 24 Feb. 2021 More recently, schools have been able to harness the power of social media to promote their programs. refinery29.com, 9 Feb. 2021 From that moment, the two saw the opportunity to harness — and unapologetically exploit — Barkan’s terminal disease for political purposes. Los Angeles Times, 31 Aug. 2021

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'harness.' 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 harness

Noun

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Verb

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for harness

Noun

Middle English harneys, herneys "equipment of a man-at-arms, body armor, fittings for a draft animal, apparel, baggage," borrowed from Anglo-French herneis, harneis (also continental Old French), probably borrowed from Old Norse *hernest "provisions for an armed force," from herr "host, army" + nest "provisions," going back to Germanic *nesta- (whence also Old English nest "food, provisions," Old High German -nest, in weganest "provisions for a journey"), derivative, with the noun and adjective suffix -to-, from the base of *nesan- "to save, be saved, return safely" — more at harry, nostalgia

Note: The Norse word was presumably assimilated to the French nominal and adjectival suffix -eis (going back to Latin -ēnsis; compare -ese entry 1), so that the compound was resegmented as harn-eis.

Verb

Middle English harneysen, harneyschen, hernessen "to equip with arms or armor, place accoutrements on a horse or ox, dress," borrowed from Anglo-French harneiser, herneiser, hernescher "to make ready, equip" (continental Old French harneschier, herneschier), derivative of harneis "equipment of a man-at-arms, baggage" — more at harness entry 1

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Time Traveler for harness

Time Traveler

The first known use of harness was in the 14th century

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Dictionary Entries Near harness

harn

harness

harness bull

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Statistics for harness

Last Updated

23 Sep 2021

Cite this Entry

“Harness.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/harness. Accessed 24 Sep. 2021.

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More Definitions for harness

harness

noun

English Language Learners Definition of harness

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a set of straps that are placed on an animal (such as a horse) so that it can pull something heavy
: a set of straps that are used to connect a person to something (such as a parachute or a seat)

harness

verb

English Language Learners Definition of harness (Entry 2 of 2)

: to put a harness on (an animal)
: to attach (an animal) to something with a harness
: to use (something) for a particular purpose

harness

noun
har·​ness | \ ˈhär-nəs How to pronounce harness (audio) \

Kids Definition of harness

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: the straps and fastenings placed on an animal so it can be controlled or prepared to pull a load

harness

verb
harnessed; harnessing

Kids Definition of harness (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : to put straps and fastenings on I harnessed the horses.
2 : to put to work : utilize Wind can be harnessed to generate power.

More from Merriam-Webster on harness

Nglish: Translation of harness for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of harness for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about harness

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