Definition of horse in English:

horse

noun

  • 1A solid-hoofed plant-eating domesticated mammal with a flowing mane and tail, used for riding, racing, and to carry and pull loads.

    • ‘A big reason is that rhinos, unlike horses, cannot be domesticated.’
    • ‘Cattle, horses, sheep, goats, and other large farm animals seem to fall well outside the paradigm of urban farming.’
    • ‘Horses were first used to pull chariots, and it was not until horses large enough to carry a man had been bred, broken, and trained that the cavalryman proper made his appearance.’
    • ‘His error was so glaring that Gagan should have noticed right away and pulled up his horse, as the rules of racing dictate.’
    • ‘Fiona explained that riding school ponies and horses occasionally get lazy and bored with the same daily routine.’
    • ‘A horse pulling a cart carrying racegoers was struck by lightning and died and a passenger was killed.’
    • ‘The Miller Farm no longer raises livestock, except for a few pet horses, goats and sheep.’
    • ‘Her father had stocked an entire stable with sleek, powerful racing horses, and she had adored them all equally.’
    • ‘At other times, seeds were harrowed in by horses pulling brush or else by sheep trampling the ground.’
    • ‘Now domesticated, horses occur throughout the world and in feral populations in some areas.’
    • ‘Racing began about three minutes after man domesticated the horse.’
    • ‘The Kazakh village is one of two sites competing for the honor of being the first place where humans are thought to have domesticated horses.’
    • ‘But still, it's a lot better than most of what's out there, and as a fan of horses and horse racing, I enjoyed it a lot.’
    • ‘Some good stock, including horses, cattle, sheep and pigs were on exhibition.’
    • ‘In winter, teams of horses dragged sledges loaded with cut logs across frozen lakes.’
    • ‘Domestic donkeys interact well with other livestock animals such as horses, cows, goats, sheep, and llamas.’
    • ‘Insurance companies offered policies to cover cattle, poultry, sheep, goats, horses, elephants, dogs, ducks and fishes.’
    • ‘Both horses carried bulging saddlebags packed with supplies.’
    • ‘The mowing machine for the barley and oats was pulled by two horses and carried two people - the blades would be flying when it was in use.’
    • ‘He cared for his horse, choosing only the finest horses to carry him for he knew his life depended on having a well-cared for mount.’
    mount, charger, yearling
    cob, draught horse, carthorse, packhorse, racehorse
    pony, foal, colt, stallion, gelding, mare, filly
    nag, hack
    bronco
    moke, yarraman
    steed, jade
    gee-gee
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 An adult male horse; a stallion or gelding.
      • ‘The photo is cropped closely so that the reader is not aware that he's looking at a picture of a male horse rather than a mare.’
      • ‘I now have more mares than male horses though among the top 10 I own three of them are males.’
    2. 1.2 A wild mammal of the horse family.
      • ‘This grandly titled traditional animation from DreamWorks centres on an untamed horse in the old Wild West which is captured by the army and harshly broken in to join the cavalry.’
      • ‘The horse family - Equiidae - was an especial success story during the Neogene.’
      • ‘Wild horses can be tamed, but Finch said it takes someone who is knowledgeable and experienced.’
      • ‘On the roof of the cave deft hands had painted bison, elk, horses and wild boars.’
      • ‘Wild horses and cattle are also entering the park from the Hermannsburg Aboriginal land.’
      • ‘Wild horses in the New Forest get along perfectly fine, wandering around outdoors, free and naked and just getting more hairy in winter.’
      • ‘Paintings of horses - and other wild animals of ice age Europe such as lions and mammoths - long predate human portraiture.’
      • ‘Wild horses roam the roads and in the jungle you can find giant moths apparently the inspiration for Mothra, Godzilla's legendary foe.’
    3. 1.3[treated as singular or plural] Cavalry:
      ‘forty horse and sixty foot’
      • ‘He fought alongside the duke at the naval battles off Lowestoft in 1665 and at Sole Bay in 1672 and, though a catholic, was made colonel of a regiment of horse.’
      • ‘Before the enemy had time to turn to see what was happening, mace, lance, and horse slammed right into them.’
      • ‘The next level down was the commander of the fire unit - the horse artillery troop or foot artillery company - equivalent to modern batteries.’
      • ‘The cavalry regiments have always been splendidly dressed, with the light horse being the most dashing.’
      mounted troops, cavalrymen, horse soldiers, troopers
      View synonyms
  • 2A frame or structure on which something is mounted or supported, especially a sawhorse.

    framework, rack, holder, stand, base, support, mounting, mount, platform, prop, rest, chock, plinth, bottom, trivet, bracket, frame, subframe, structure, substructure, chassis
    View synonyms
    1. 2.1Nautical A horizontal bar, rail, or rope in the rigging of a sailing ship.
    2. 2.2
      short for vaulting horse
      • ‘A year later Olga won her first award at the national title meet - a gold medal in the horse vault.’
      • ‘R. Mikaelyan was first among the Soviet gymnasts who started with the long horse.’
      • ‘And the wall bars and horses which have characterised school gym halls for hundreds of years will be replaced by treadmills and electronic recumbent bikes.’
      • ‘Meanwhile, Gary or Craig, or whatever his name was from Steps, possibly became the first person to be throw by a gymnasium horse.’
      • ‘Attempting a vault, her right foot missed the springboard and she crashed headfirst at full speed into the horse.’
      • ‘He won the silver medal on the long horse and a special prize for an original vault.’
  • 3informal A unit of horsepower:

    ‘a 63-horse engine’
  • 4informal [mass noun] Heroin.

    • ‘Easy, add someone doing bong hits or horse in the rectum and you've got instant mise en scène.’
    • ‘For the great horse called heroin will take you to hell.’
    • ‘He remembers his first taste of marijuana, his first snort of horse.’
    • ‘Instead of a bunch of layabouts smoking glue and cracking charlie's horse with LSD, we could have good, fit criminals with discipline and firearms skills.’
  • 5Mining
    An obstruction in a vein.

verb

  • [with object] Provide (a person or vehicle) with a horse or horses:

    ‘six men, horsed, masked, and armed’
    • ‘For firms horsing their own vehicles, the cost of the yard would be a joint cost and cannot be divided between horses and vehicles.’
    • ‘North and South learned early on that horsed formations could not charge ranks of infantry armed with the new rifled musket, and they relegated cavalry to scouting and raiding roles.’
    • ‘After 1812 shortage of horses meant that a five-squadron French dragoon regiment might go to war with three squadrons horsed and two on foot.’
    • ‘High tobymen, or horsed robbers, had yielded the field to low tobymen, or footpads, and roadside thieving had lost its traditional panache.’
    • ‘In previous wars, horsed cavalry had performed such a role, but cavalry were generally of little use in the trenches of the Western Front.’
    • ‘It didn't sound like the dozen horsed riders that she'd expected; it sounded like half of that.’
    • ‘I'm uncertain whether the Millennium Dome is a smart thing to have on one's CV, but I see it as a stepping stone to Ensign Ewart, my fully horsed spectacular, soon to be lavishly mounted at Covent Garden.’

Phrases

  • don't change horses in midstream

    • proverb Choose a sensible moment to change your mind.

      • ‘‘You don't change horses in midstream,’ he says.’
  • flog (or north americanbeat)a dead horse

    • Waste energy on a lost cause or unalterable situation.

  • frighten the horses

    • [usually with negative]Do something likely to cause public outrage or offence:

      ‘David's views would not have frightened the horses’
      • ‘Labour is still afraid, or unwilling, to say exactly what it is doing, so it uses euphemisms which won't frighten the horses.’
      • ‘In order to stay in office, such a government would probably do very little to frighten the horses.’
      • ‘Although the minimum wage was introduced at a level calculated not to frighten the horses, its potential ratcheting up is a ticking time-bomb in the engine room of the economy.’
      • ‘David's views, which surely should have been known, would not have frightened the horses.’
      • ‘Even on the fashion front, although the dresses were classically glamorous, not one would have frightened the horses.’
      • ‘We don't want him frightening the horses of middle England when the Tories finally have some momentum.’
      • ‘The number one priority in TV comedy today is ' don't frighten the horses ', and it's probably number two and three as well.’
      • ‘Who cares what the Bishop of Reading gets up to in his spare time; provided he doesn't do it in the street and frighten the horses?’
      • ‘Has been stealthily been doing his bit to redistribute wealth without frightening the horses (and the newspapers).’
      • ‘The Government does not want to frighten the horses.’
  • from the horse's mouth

    • (of information) from the person directly concerned or another authoritative source.

      • ‘This is a positive thing; it's good for students at all levels to get information straight from the horse's mouth, not only for accuracy but also for enthusiasm and authenticity.’
      • ‘An unsurprising reaction, of course, but I figured that since I had something straight from the horse's mouth, I'd pass it along.’
      • ‘In case you've been wondering what Pamela Anderson's been up to lately, here's the news straight from the horse's mouth.’
      • ‘Those were the days when any scribe could get any information he needed from the horse's mouth.’
      • ‘Time was, if you wanted accurate information it was best to get it from the horse's mouth.’
      • ‘Pop scientists Sagan and Asimov wrote about a great many things they lacked professional expertise in, yet the facts always seemed to come straight from the horse's mouth.’
      • ‘This is not mere speculation; we have it from the horse's mouth.’
      • ‘Here again, no information from the horse's mouth, only from ‘widespread reports across the Indian media‘.’
      • ‘Web coverage extends this further and offers the opportunity of getting information ‘straight from the horse's mouth.’’
      • ‘I thought we needed to hear it straight from the horse's mouth - we are already getting analysis and summaries.’
      reliable, dependable, trustworthy, good, sound, authentic, valid, well founded, attested, certified, verifiable
      View synonyms
  • horses for courses

    • proverb Different people are suited to different things.

      • ‘I think it's very much horses for courses - it's about getting a good balance between public and private sector.’
      • ‘Instead of horses for courses, they're going for another outsider.’
      • ‘So I'm not interested in politics, it's horses for courses.’
      • ‘However, it is horses for courses and we can't say for sure that every boy will play all their matches for the club team.’
      • ‘Sometimes it's a matter of being in the right place at the right time or what you might call horses for courses.’
      • ‘They are cheap and safe and have gained NHS approval, so it's horses for courses on this one.’
      • ‘In fact, it is a case of horses for courses but whatever you do, please give your ferry route some careful consideration.’
      • ‘My answer to that question is that sometimes you have to make a rugby decision based on a horses for courses policy, and this is such an occasion.’
      • ‘However, coach Clive Woodward chose horses for courses and Tindall started the game and typified England's thirst for victory with some big hits.’
      • ‘Always a believer in horses for courses - since the advent of the squad system at least - the Scotland coach is likely to chop and twiddle and tinker over the five championship games.’
  • to horse

    • (as a command) mount your horses!

  • you can lead (or take) a horse to water but you can't make him drink

    • proverb You can give someone an opportunity, but you can't force them to take it.

      • ‘As the saying goes that you can lead a horse to water but you can't make him drink, so the same goes with standards education.’
      • ‘To paraphrase Keynes, you can lead a horse to water but you can't make him drink.’
      • ‘It's really hard - you can lead a horse to water but you can't make him drink it.’
      • ‘But the old, old cliché says you can take a horse to water but you can't make him drink, well we believe that we can make him thirsty.’

Phrasal Verbs

  • horse around (or about)

    • Fool about:

      ‘they were talking silly and horsing around’
      • ‘I enjoyed horsing around with a new person in the group, talking, arguing, eating, drinking, running around in breaks to see who can run faster.’
      • ‘A powerful man tilting the scales at well over 200 pounds and dressed in full gear jumping on another man is not horsing around on a foam mat.’
      • ‘Peak photographer Josh Devins and I horsed around in our combat fatigues and chatted with the other reporters.’
      • ‘We did the usual horsing around, inventing handshakes and dumb dances and songs, but I really liked Robert Tsai who played Lawrence, the concert pianist, just because his vast knowledge of classical music was astonishing to me.’
      • ‘There will be an hour of horsing around to Robbie Williams, followed by a Bob the Builder or Barbie cake.’
      • ‘More young people are in school who would rather be elsewhere, and they tend to horse around.’
      • ‘There will be plenty of horsing about going on at a big top near the Trafford Centre this week.’
      • ‘Entitled, ‘We're a horsing around - it's a catastrophe ’, they were both dressed up as cats and had bandages around themselves and the pony.’
      • ‘From moments of calm and almost stillness, there is a wonderful male glee in horsing around, pushing, shoving, improvising with arms, hands, positions and timing.’
      • ‘The actors laze about and horse around with each other until the time for their scenes.’
      • ‘You know that game where I chase you around and we horse around on the floor?’
      • ‘This didn't leave much time for the snowball fights and horsing around my friends engaged in.’
      • ‘It started off basically as a way to just horse around.’
      • ‘I remember once, I was horsing around with her - she was trying to run me over with her chair and I was getting in close and leaping out of the way.’
      • ‘Then we got to our transfer spot and as they waited mom and daughters fooled around, pulling at one another and horsing around.’
      • ‘Matthew House's first salon, in Lidget, Oakworth, includes an old-fashioned barber's chair, as well as an imported children's chair to horse around in.’
      • ‘Mr Annan gave him a pass, but told him not to horse around in the hall and to remember to wash his hands.’
      • ‘I did nothing but read the paper, watch TV and generally horse around.’
      • ‘Bryson Donaldson, 12, was horsing around at his Muskogee, Oklahoma, school one morning last fall, mimicking the cops-and-robbers scenario that is as American as apple pie and Al Pacino.’
      • ‘You'd like to think she did, maybe while she was horsing around with Diego in the early days, or when she was painting in her eyebrows on those self-portraits.’
      fool about, fool around, play the fool, act foolishly, act the clown, act the fool, play about, play around, clown about, clown around, monkey about, monkey around, play tricks, indulge in horseplay, engage in high jinks
      mess about, mess around, lark, lark about, lark around
      muck about, muck around
      cut up
      piss about, piss around, arse about, arse around, bugger about, bugger around
      play the giddy goat
      View synonyms

Origin

Old English hors, of Germanic origin; related to Dutch ros and German Ross.

Pronunciation:

horse

/hɔːs/