Definition of horn in English:

horn

noun

  • 1A hard permanent outgrowth, often curved and pointed, found in pairs on the heads of cattle, sheep, goats, giraffes, etc. and consisting of a core of bone encased in keratinized skin.

    • ‘Some specimens even sport multiple pairs of horns, between four and six inches long.’
    • ‘At the festival itself, some of the men wear small goat horns attached to their heads, giving them a rather satyr like appearance.’
    • ‘In contrast, both sexes of many other hoofed mammals have permanent, hollow horns.’
    • ‘Male bighorn sheep with the largest horns, for instance, have the highest social rank and are more likely to mate.’
    • ‘At the end of these two cows' horns are attached, and to the horns two large goat skin bellows, one each side of the furnace.’
    • ‘Before that, ales, which were typically dark and cloudy with yeast, were served in everything from mugs and tankards to goat horns and the chalices of kings.’
    • ‘It was imperative that all ritual was accompanied by the correct type of bull according to its colour, markings and horn shape to ensure the efficacy of the ritual.’
    • ‘Other participants perform libation using Scotch or other similar liquor by pouring from a ram's horn.’
    • ‘Ankole cattle, from the great lakes region of East Africa, are also bred for horn shape and size.’
    • ‘It is like looking at a pair of cattle horns, is it not?’
    • ‘Pan is most often portrayed with the torso of a man, the hooved legs and twisty horns of a wild goat, and the capricious face of a human.’
    • ‘During their first cold winter, Lewis shipped a collection of skins, horns, skeletons, and prairie plants back down the Missouri.’
    • ‘The only difference between them was the ram's horns on one's head and the goat horns on the other.’
    • ‘Here the cows were small with slender horns and the sheep quite goat-like.’
    • ‘Most noticeable were two giant goat horns protruding from its head.’
    • ‘The horns of cows and sheep grow over a bony core that resembles the horn in shape, so anything with a slightly twisted cone of rough-surfaced bone is unlikely to be human.’
    • ‘What artist would represent cattle without horns?’
    • ‘Texas is a place where everything is bigger, the adage goes, and that's as true of our lakes as of the horns on our cattle and the tires on our pickups.’
    • ‘At the town's market, I had discovered the magnificent horns of a blue sheep while examining wildlife body parts being offered for sale.’
    • ‘On his belt he carries several knives, and a ram's horn for blowing.’
    1. 1.1 A woolly keratinized outgrowth, occurring singly or one behind another, on the snout of a rhinoceros.
      • ‘Is it the rhinoceros with its aphrodisiac horn and herbivorous browsing?’
      • ‘The African rhino species have two horns, one behind the other, and have smooth, gray skin.’
      • ‘We had just completed a night safari, coming nose to horn with a rhino who proceeded to chase the jeep.’
      • ‘The Reserve has a similar program with rhinoceros where a microchip is implanted in the animal's horn both for identification purposes and to deter poaching.’
      • ‘He flew up to where Element was situated, his sword floating up in front of him like a rhino's horn.’
      • ‘Without their commanding horn the rhinoceros present a forlorn image.’
      • ‘Now what about the issue of rhinoceros and the horns?’
      • ‘Other times and places he wore elk antlers instead, or the fibrous horns of a rhino, dancing about the walls of torch-lit caverns with feather and paw, fin and claw.’
      • ‘The Rhino's horn is not a true horn, but consists of compressed hair, and the animal prefers to defend itself with its canine teeth with which it can make horrible gashes.’
      • ‘He fell to the ground, the large rhino horn protruding from his chest while black, sticky blood pooled around him.’
      • ‘The soldiers allegedly used the stolen money to buy items as diverse as cameras and rhinoceros horns, the officials said.’
      • ‘Medieval explorers, coming across the rhinoceros, described it as a fierce animal like a big horse with a single horn on its nose.’
    2. 1.2 A deer's antler.
      • ‘Solid horns, called antlers, distinguish most species in the deer family from the other hoofed mammals.’
      • ‘Though later the victory of Enigorio, using deer horns, suggests some special status or power of the deer, Cusick never lingers on such spots.’
      • ‘He ate the deer and displayed its horns on the tractor as a trophy.’
      • ‘Most of the venison comes from fallow deer, the kind that drop their horns in April and May in the park at Richmond; these are the usual inhabitants of deer parks.’
      • ‘It always ends with death whether it is the death of our prey and our subsequent feast or the tragic death of a pack member, caught by the horns of an elk or trampled by deer.’
      • ‘I ate my first bloody rare steak and you shot the coyote that still hangs in the family room next to one of your other first trophies, the thick horns of a mule deer.’
      • ‘You could have been given spider webs and violet fabric to wrap your chancre or sip tea made from deer horns but you were most likely to be dosed up with toxic heavy metals.’
      • ‘And then we rounded a corner and there was a male ibex nibbling on a tuft of grass, throwing his horns back every now and then as if troubled by a gigantic and very heavy quiff.’
      • ‘Most fights involve hooking uppercuts or a cautious locking of horns or shoving head to head, ending when one animal signals submission and the winner lets him go.’
      • ‘Thinking it was some deer caught in an aged trap or caught by its horns, she dropped her pail, running immediately to the place.’
      • ‘This is also in accord with beliefs concerning a white ibex or deer in the Caucasus Mountains, although these concern the animal's meat or milk rather than its horn.’
      • ‘Behind him was a deer with great horns that twisted and turned in every direction.’
      • ‘Suddenly, she saw the big buck, its crescent horns piercing the blue sky.’
      • ‘There were the skulls of all manner of strange mountain animals, stags' horns, stuffed owls…’
      • ‘She crawled over and lay next to him, looking over the log to see a family of deer, a doe and three babies, their horns barely coming up.’
      • ‘The deer brought him to where Rishyashringa was, and Vibondaka saw this shining young baby with deer horns.’
      • ‘Deer horns are mounted on top of a kostoweh worn by a leader.’
    3. 1.3 A projection resembling a horn on the head of another animal, e.g. a snail's tentacle or the tuft of a horned owl.
      • ‘Many of his contemporaries derided him as ‘a hesitating cow’ or ‘a bull with snail's horns.’’
      • ‘And I don't want to cut off the horns of a black snail.’
      • ‘The creature within is like a huge snail with horns tipped by bright golden eyes.’
      • ‘The man has stopped to look at a slug, which has horns and a slick skin, but they only know he has stopped.’
      • ‘The lad noticed the stranger's ink-black hair and the horns that grew upon his head.’
      • ‘The figure was bald, and sported several horns where hair should have grown.’
      • ‘The dorsal gray horn receives incoming or afferent fibers.’
      • ‘In some boxfishes, such as the aptly named cowfishes, the keels extend forward, beyond the body, to form sharp horns.’
      • ‘This contrasts with the horns of artiodactyls, which have bone cores, are paired, and are located on the frontals.’
      • ‘Any animal fairly bristling with long, pointed horns and spikes simply looks ready to fend off any and all would-be predators.’
      • ‘She sighed as she looked down at the water and saw not only her reflection but a figure with brown hair and horns looking into the pond as well.’
      • ‘Many living animals have horns or hornlike organs; the list includes antelope, deer, chameleons, birds, and even ants.’
      antenna, tentacle
      View synonyms
    4. 1.4hornsarchaic A pair of horns as an emblem of a cuckold.
    5. 1.5West Indian mass noun Marital infidelity.
      ‘she took endless horn and pressure, but now she wants a divorce’
  • 2mass noun The substance of which horns are composed.

    ‘powdered rhino horn’
    • ‘It must be dissolved slowly in water, over several days and then filtered to remove traces of Acacia tree bark, elephant hide and rhino horn.’
    • ‘In Yemen, for example, rhino horn is carved into handles used in daggers called jambiyas.’
    • ‘The bow itself could be simply of wood or of a composite of horn or whalebone placed between two thin pieces of yew and covered in tendon, while steel bows appear from the 14th century.’
    • ‘The reference to horn and ivory show that composite bows were known, and the inclusion of yew shows they knew of this best of bow timbers.’
    • ‘We do have things like rhino horn occasionally, and tiger fur, not on a huge scale, but it still happens.’
    • ‘This netsuke of a seated deer howling at the moon stands 9.7 cm in height, and was carved in the Edo period from ivory with dark horn inlaid for eyes.’
    • ‘Since Viagra gets it up more reliably than powdered horn, Asia has made a quick switch, and poachers have lost market share.’
    • ‘Any effects of rhino horn are almost certainly placebo effects, of which scarcity, improbability, and high cost play a part.’
    • ‘Obviously rhino horn has nothing to do with genitalia.’
    • ‘Rhino horn is said to make men sexually unstoppable, and asparagus, bananas, eels, oysters, figs and ginseng are all reputed to get you going.’
    • ‘But the proteins on our outside - in skin, hair, and nail, as well as animal horn and hoof - are of a different kind.’
    • ‘One trader along the border of what are today South Africa and Botswana employed 400 African hunters in the pursuit of rhino horn.’
    • ‘Throw a tax cut their way, the argument goes, and like lovers haplessly lost to the aphrodisiacal effects of ground rhino horn, they'll be putty in your hands.’
    • ‘To date we've examined over 1,000 rhino horn pills; we've never found a real one.’
    • ‘The same is true for the cost of rhino horn, but the whole story is even a bit more complicated.’
    • ‘Tiger bone is used to treat arthritis and muscular atrophy, and rhino horn to treat fevers, convulsions, and delirium.’
    • ‘I know this because I recently went into Gap to try on a nice grey cardigan with dark-green trim and horn buttons, mindful that this could be my key purchase for autumn 2004.’
    • ‘Hand-crafted objects are made in wood, leather, horn, metal, stone, mineral, clay, cloth, and feathers.’
    • ‘It seems the Chinese believe that this rhino's horn cures everything from lumbago to laryngitis, and they will pay anything to get it.’
    • ‘Based on these measurements, the horn capsule of the claw is a composite of horn produced over the past 12 to 15 months.’
    1. 2.1count noun A receptacle made of horn, such as a drinking container or powder flask.
      • ‘My current practice goes far better when I've had a couple of bottles / horns of beer or cider.’
      • ‘Drink was taken in horns, similarly decorated and sometimes with metal tips and rims.’
      • ‘The soldier blinked repeatedly and then raised his horn to his lips.’
      • ‘He has raised a horn of salvation for us in the house of his servant David, as he promised through holy prophets long ago.’
      • ‘Horns are used as butter dishes and large horns as cups for drinking mead.’
      • ‘I watched his hands, tipping measured amounts of powder from a pewter horn, tapping in a ball and wad with a short ramrod.’
      • ‘Then he grabbed his ration pack, gunpowder horn, and bullet bag.’
  • 3A horn-shaped projection or object.

    • ‘The tail occupies a position in the roof of the inferior horn of the lateral ventricle.’
    • ‘Half of the left uterine horn was fixed in Bouin's fixative, and processed routinely for immunohistochemistry.’
    • ‘Michael's headlong flight meant he and Kieran were going to clip off the vanguard of the right horn of the crescent.’
    • ‘There's a cartoon: a man wrapped in a tuba, its horn gaping over his head.’
    • ‘He stood up awkwardly and strolled mysteriously to the corner of the room where a peculiarly large gramophone horn dominated.’
    • ‘America's riches are pulling people all along the continent's Hispanic horn on a great migration to the place they call El Norte.’
    • ‘The headdress with its straight, sharp horns holds out a model of a very different sort of response - that of active fight and resistance.’
    • ‘The stool horns should project equally out from the side of the casing as it does from the front.’
    • ‘Performers projected into a horn, and the vibrations were directly converted into the wiggles of a groove on the master disc.’
    • ‘The posterior horns are present and normal and contain normal choroid plexus.’
    • ‘At the front are two projecting horns flanking a forecourt, at the back of which is the entrance to the chambers.’
    1. 3.1 A sharp promontory or mountain peak.
      • ‘But rounding the horn and coming back up the peninsula was another story.’
      • ‘Amongst the glowing purples and reds of a Saharan sunset the silhouette of Mount Ktrik, its peak formed from two horns, began to look very sinister.’
    2. 3.2 Cape Horn.
    3. 3.3 An arm or branch of a river or bay.
    4. 3.4 Each of the extremities of a crescent moon.
      • ‘The bowed bottom of the anchor recalls the horns of the crescent moon, an attribute of the Egyptian goddess Isis, the queen of heaven and the virgin mother of Horus.’
      • ‘Also, at high latitudes (close to the poles) the Moon never sticks its horns straight up.’
      • ‘The horns of the crescent moon were pointed almost straight up.’
    5. 3.5British vulgar slang An erect penis.
  • 4A wind instrument, conical in shape or wound into a spiral, originally made from an animal horn (now typically brass) and played by lip vibration.

    • ‘Suddenly she turned and vanished from the parapet; and all the time the sentry upon the wall blew out the long note from his brass horn.’
    • ‘Notes from the organ and four horns drone and mimic cathedral bells.’
    • ‘Behind the tumblers march musicians, playing early trumpets and horns.’
    • ‘Suddenly, the sharp call of a faraway horn caught the trio's attention.’
    • ‘Their origins lay among the huntsmen and foresters who had long used horns, either animal or metal, as a way of communicating in wooded areas.’
    • ‘The pandemonium - for every horn must blare - cannot be imagined.’
    • ‘While the voices and sometimes tonal percussion leave you in no doubt about their West African roots, the horns echo African military bands and European / American brass bands.’
    • ‘With a smooth, effortless movement, the killer kicked the master's horn over the edge of the balcony where it spun into the blackness below.’
    • ‘Valved horns were permitted, in the light of Wagner's own equivocation about them, joining those valved horn hybrids known as Wagner tubas.’
    • ‘So she took up the euphonium, a smaller horn that is a member of the tuba family.’
    • ‘Could the Universe be shaped like a medieval horn?’
    • ‘Hounds were fed horseflesh and collected on hunt days with the sound of a horn in the street.’
    • ‘Around the clock, the coaches galloped down the towns' high streets with long brass horns blowing to warn pedestrians.’
    • ‘At their head stood Chief Hargougha with the horn raised to his mouth.’
    • ‘It's the King coming and the sound of those who herald him with horns of brass pressed to their mouths.’
    • ‘Puck produces a horn, and raising it to his lips gives three blows.’
    • ‘The lucky old sopranos only get blasted by the horns, which is much nicer.’
    • ‘Her grandfather's horn sounded in the hilltop brush; the hounds burst into chorus.’
    • ‘At the conclusion eight horns (led by Michelle Perry of the Empire Brass) rang out triumphantly.’
    1. 4.1
      short for French horn
      • ‘The NYOI is joined by the Wind Quintet of Jeunesses Musicales World Orchestra which includes oboe, clarinet, horn, flute and bassoon.’
      • ‘Right at the end, horns, trumpets, trombones intone the symphony's opening phrase - we have returned full circle.’
      • ‘The finale is for full orchestra with unison horns and trumpets rousingly playing Purcell's theme at the end.’
      • ‘He transcribed them and set about making a set of 14 parts for horns, trumpets, trombones and timpani.’
      • ‘This arrangement demands an extremely colourful orchestra that includes piccolo, four horns, harp, orchestral bells, and tam-tam.’
      • ‘There surely must have been a hint of gold in music for woodwind and horns for Mozart to have dressed his offerings in such a resplendent manner.’
      • ‘The encore - Le Basque - by Marin Marais, arranged for horn and piano is an absolute charmer.’
      • ‘The brass section of an orchestra typically consists of trumpets, horns, trombones, and tubas.’
      • ‘There is some lovely playing, particularly from the woodwinds, but the horns, timpani and bass line are too recessed to have the necessary impact.’
      • ‘The orchestra is most likely to be double woodwind, horns and trumpets, harp, piano, percussion and strings.’
      • ‘And when before have clarinets and horns been so mellowly blended?’
      • ‘He wants to tell a joke that only horn players will really appreciate.’
      • ‘In the afternoon the quintet, which is made up of two trumpets, horn, trombone and tuba, gave a concert in Marden House.’
      • ‘The scoring is for a simple classical orchestra, strings, double woodwind, four horns and two trumpets.’
      • ‘Soft-toned trumpets and horns enter, menacing minor-key interchanges leading to high flute and muted trombones at the close.’
      • ‘The quintet of oboe, flute, clarinet, horn and bassoon is led by Howard Nelson and will present a programme of contrasting chamber music.’
      • ‘Chailly has the vast canvas within his grasp from the very opening of those horns and brass that herald the mammoth journey.’
      • ‘Peter von Winter's contribution is a Sinfonia concertante for violin, clarinet, horn, bassoon, and orchestra.’
      • ‘During the summer months, she plays co-principal horn and is a featured soloist with the Capitol City Band.’
      • ‘He uses brass - horns, in particular - recalling the grand heroic gestures of Romantic music.’
    2. 4.2informal (in jazz and popular music) any wind instrument.
      ‘keyboards, horns, and drums’
      • ‘He literally danced his music into being, conducting his bass players, drummers and horn section with his hips.’
      • ‘At age seven, he received his first horn, a cornet.’
      • ‘The majority of this album is built up around similar ambiences as the trio elaborate poignant melodies and impressive arrangements, complete with guitars, strings and horns.’
      • ‘Another veteran Etoiles hero, Syran Mbenza, adds in the gently rousing guitar solos, while horns, violin and accordion provide the backing.’
      • ‘Byron Wallen switches between trumpet and flugelhorn, whilst Ed Jones likewise moves from soprano to tenor horns.’
      • ‘What You Want is a sweet love song, with some lazy Burt Bacharach style horns floating over the melody.’
      • ‘Eventually the band bounded onstage - horns blaring, double bass pounding and trumpets proclaiming that yes indeed, the mighty Skatalites had arrived.’
      • ‘Guitarist McGarvey sways backwards and forwards on his wah-wah pedal as the nine-piece band with full horn section segues seamlessly from Shaft to Bullitt.’
      • ‘The horns front a rhythm section that includes three percussionists armed with congas and bata drums, with no piano or guitar in the middle to mediate.’
      • ‘It was easy for Buddy to copy the horn riffs on the songs on his guitar.’
      • ‘The Burr and Burton Academy band, crisp in summer whites accented with mountain green, contributes brass, drums, and horns.’
      • ‘They're textbooks on how strings, horns, brass, rhythm and vocal should be laid down.’
      • ‘Langorous horns, ticking guitars and muted keyboards have been added, sketching out long, graceful arcs of melody over the bubbling rhythms.’
      • ‘By the time the song proper kicks back in towards the end, everyone has melted so thoroughly that those upbeat horns and charging drums are actually a shock.’
      • ‘Standard beats, smooth keyboards synthesized horns and other instruments, and one repeating vocal sample is the blueprint here.’
      • ‘I remember sitting there at the Polo Grounds, and there was a guy sitting near me in the stands blowing this mournful horn.’
      • ‘In almost every song there is an acoustic element of either guitar, piano, horns, or vibraphones present in the mix.’
      • ‘A man playing his horn hid behind a wall, and quickly snapped up the change I tossed in his case.’
      • ‘Lester has already received my billing, so I'll just start tooting Mike Megrew's horn instead.’
      • ‘On their debut full-length, they combine syncopated ska guitars, manic horns, driving punk rhythms and frontman Tomas Kalnoky's raspy vocals.’
  • 5A device sounding a warning or other signal.

    ‘a car horn’
    • ‘Car drivers use their horns to signal their support.’
    • ‘In the third frame, the two clubs combined for four goals before the horn sounded to signal the end of the game.’
    • ‘The car behind you blasts its horn because you let a pedestrian finish crossing.’
    • ‘I jumped when I heard a horn honk behind me and spun around, as a familiar black car pulled up.’
    • ‘The pilot initiated an emergency descent after a warning horn sounded when the plane reached its cruising height of 32,000 ft.’
    • ‘A horn blasted behind Adam and he eased off the brake.’
    • ‘In the distance, horns sounded as the royal army began riding out from behind the castle walls.’
    • ‘He sounded his warning horn, but Sgt Moodie's only response was to turn his back to the oncoming train.’
    • ‘We were in the middle of kissing when a car horn blasted behind us.’
    • ‘They hold the moment for a little longer, not noticing the light turning green until a horn sounds from behind.’
    • ‘Jill sped past, cursing at the horns honking behind her.’
    • ‘The bus driver sounded his horn, whereupon the car driver deliberately reduced his speed and delayed the progress of the bus.’
    • ‘Another time, Li just couldn't get her car to start up at an intersection when the light turned green, leaving a whole line of vehicles blaring their horns behind her.’
    • ‘I had tooted my horn to warn a cyclist that I was behind him.’
    • ‘A horn sounded, signalling the arrival of Peter's opponent.’
    • ‘As she was trying to clean up the mess, using a box of tissues, she heard the honking of a horn behind her.’
    • ‘I must have spaced out, because before I knew it there was a great blare of horns behind me.’
    • ‘Cameron stepped on the gas harder, honked the horn to warn a group of teenagers who were considering stepping onto the road right in front of him.’
    • ‘In Beijing the sounding of car horns is the exception, rather than the rule while Shanghainese seem to hardly ever take their hand off the klaxon button.’
    • ‘He exclaimed to himself before someone behind him honked their horn.’
    siren, warning sound, alarm signal, danger signal, distress signal, alert
    View synonyms

verb

[with object]
  • 1(of an animal) butt or gore with the horns.

    ‘the bull horned him out of the way’
    pierce, stab, stick, impale, puncture, penetrate, spear, spit
    View synonyms
  • 2West Indian Be unfaithful to (one's husband or wife)

    ‘all the time he was horning his wife’
    • ‘No parang song has ever created animosity, incited anarchy, induced horning, glorified carnage, supported drug abuse or unprotected sex, condoned domestic violence or maligned any person.’
    • ‘In foreign countries, there is more horning, more deaths by murder and diseases of anger, more imprisonment, more self-abuse and abuse to others, and many Trinidadian families ask their family members to leave their homes.’
    • ‘They said ‘If yuh was getting horn, which would you prefer your partner to be horning you with, a member of the same sex or a member of the opposite sex?’’

Phrases

  • blow (or toot) one's own horn

    • informal Talk boastfully about oneself or one's achievements.

      • ‘Don't envy, don't boast, don't toot your own horn - ever.’
      • ‘He's not a person that blows his own horn at all.’
      • ‘He's certainly not shy about tooting his own horn in regard to some of the decisions that were made concerning the script and location shooting.’
      • ‘I hate to toot my own horn but this is a pretty huge paradigm shift for me.’
      • ‘Now, not to toot my own horn, but don't you think I deserve some credit in this scenario?’
      • ‘To toot my own horn, I've been referred to as ‘hot’ upon more than one occasion.’
      • ‘Anyhow - I'm not writing to toot my own horn, I am writing to toot yours.’
      • ‘Do not be conceited, he who blows his own horn will find people are quick to get out of his way.’
      • ‘We are not trying to toot our own horn by praising the achievements of Taiwan's agricultural technical teams.’
      • ‘In other words, you're not just blowing your own horn.’
      boast, brag, sing one's own praises, show off, swank, congratulate oneself
      View synonyms
  • draw (or pull) in one's horns

    • Become less assertive or ambitious.

      • ‘A leader emboldened by four more years, with a greater mandate, is hardly likely to pull in his horns.’
      • ‘I think a lot of companies, because of the economic situation, are pulling in their horns.’
      • ‘And from my point of view, he was one of those players who needed a shock to pull his horns in.’
      • ‘This is not an argument for pulling in our horns.’
      • ‘Nonetheless, what we should do is to make a serious analytical effort to determine what overseas military commitments make sense and where we should pull in our horns.’
      • ‘Small wonder they drew in their horns and did nothing with it for a few years.’
      • ‘Individuals and businesses will pull in their horns.’
      • ‘Companies that discover what their clients really want and respond with innovative products creatively sold can increase their share and earnings even when many consumers are drawing in their horns.’
      • ‘The question is not whether consumers will draw in their horns, but how they will do so?’
      • ‘I believe that both companies will suffer when consumers are eventually forced to draw in their horns, which is why I'll be giving their shares a miss.’
  • on the horn

    • informal On the telephone.

      ‘she got on the horn to complain’
      • ‘The Mirror recently got on the horn with McFarlane at his L.A. office.’
      • ‘Get on the horn to British Intelligence and let them know about this.’
      • ‘Just get on the horn and phone up your local Christian radio station and tell them that you have just got to hear that new single by the David Crowder Band.’
      • ‘Get that helicopter pilot on the horn, ASAP, tell him I'll be needing some things from home!’
      • ‘If you live in one of the states where this stuff is being considered, I urge you to find out who your state representatives are and get on the horn, early and often, to let them know what you think of this idea.’
      • ‘Unless you live in Melrose Place, they probably won't come, but they'll be less likely to get on the horn to the police and noise complaint department if you've made the effort.’
      • ‘The Mirror got the pair on the horn for a conference call.’
      • ‘So my boss gets on the horn with one of the producers and insists that they let me meet with our client before he goes on the air.’
      • ‘Olympia Snowe apparently needed to sidestep the machinery of legislative liaisons and the Senate leadership and get on the horn and tell Hughes, Card, et al. just what hell was going on.’
      • ‘The task of finding guests - more than two dozen at last count - has fallen to Butcher, and he's been on the horn with consulates around the world, rounding up cartoonists to import.’
  • on the horns of a dilemma

    • Faced with a decision involving equally unfavourable alternatives.

      • ‘The judge admitted he was on the horns of a dilemma.’
      • ‘Meanwhile, at the Erinsborough Clinic, the young hairless harpy, found herself on the horns of a dilemma, so to speak.’
      • ‘Yorkshire are on the horns of a dilemma as they await medical opinion over how long their Australian all-rounder Ian Harvey could be sidelined with a hamstring injury.’
      • ‘Scottish solicitors find themselves on the horns of a dilemma in attempting to comply with recent money laundering legislation, according to Joe Platt, president of the Law Society of Scotland.’
      • ‘In other words, they're on the horns of a dilemma, given their positions taken earlier on the cost of drugs.’
      • ‘Once more I find myself squirming on the horns of a dilemma.’
      • ‘Families whose daughters entered convents often found themselves on the horns of a dilemma.’
      • ‘Republicans are stuck on the horns of a dilemma.’
      • ‘The Brooklyn Museum of Art, like many of its counterparts across the country, finds itself on the horns of a dilemma.’
      • ‘So the government is impaled on the horns of a dilemma.’
      between the devil and the deep blue sea, between scylla and charybdis
      View synonyms

Phrasal Verbs

  • horn in

    • Intrude or interfere.

      ‘who asked you to horn in?’
      • ‘Socialist Workers try to horn in on every hot issue and march, but it seems that other groups aren't as bothered by this as they used to be.’
      • ‘But things changed when digital cameras began horning in on film's turf.’
      • ‘He considered her ‘interference ‘as horning in on HIS customer.’
      • ‘A TV reporter was canned by WCBS yesterday after he shouted the F-word at two meddlers who horned in on his live shot.’
      • ‘And never mind the people on the waiting list who were bumped off because someone else with more money horned his way in.’
      • ‘I was doing that eons before this two-bit hustler started horning in on the action.’
      • ‘When asked how he feels about TAAFI horning in on his still-developing territory, he is quick to brush away any suggested rivalry.’
      • ‘Yeah, then we got all these amateurs horning into the field, and felony fashions just went down the toilet.’
      • ‘Fark seems to be horning in on Something Awful's racket.’
      • ‘Busily I raced around New York, horning in on investors' conferences, eager to meet a financial guru or an entrepreneur who could teach me something.’
      • ‘Then Nelson and David Rockefeller horned their way in, and the spotlight moved to the Trilateral Commission.’

Origin

Old English, of Germanic origin; related to Dutch hoorn and German Horn, from an Indo-European root shared by Latin cornu and Greek keras.

Pronunciation

horn

/hɔːn/