Definition of hobbyhorse in US English:



  • 1A child's toy consisting of a stick with a model of a horse's head at one end.

    • ‘In the contest, they must race 100 metres with a hobby horse while hopping over jumps.’
    • ‘This painting of a child with a hobby horse dates from 1836’
    • ‘Her unicorn hobby horse was a very special gift from Daddy.’
    1. 1.1 A rocking horse.
      • ‘One shot of a young boy claiming to be an expert horseman shows a toddler rocking on a hobby horse.’
      • ‘A drawing of King William at the top of this broadsheet, rocking on a wooden hobby horse, might have caused some offense in loyalist circles.’
      • ‘He held her hand and rocked it back and forth like a child on a hobby horse.’
    2. 1.2 A model of a horse or a horse's head, typically of wicker, used in morris dancing or pantomime.
      • ‘Morris men, lords and ladies and even Hobnob the hobby horse were to be found mingling among the stalls.’
      • ‘The Peace Police on their hobby horses added humour and colour to the events.’
      • ‘The vibrant costumes and scenery gave bright splashes of cartoonish colour to the scenes and the props, such as hobby horses with nodding heads, were superb.’
  • 2A preoccupation or favorite topic.

    ‘one of her favorite hobbyhorses was about how people had to care for “the child inside.”’
    • ‘For those who don't know me, free speech is my biggest hobby horse.’
    • ‘The other omitted item, and I admit this is a bit of a personal hobby horse of mine, is that there is no mention of the Little Ice Age, though consequences for it abounding in these pages.’
    • ‘‘The whole business of communicating with families from sea has been a hobby horse of mine for a number of years, and we had fallen quite a long way behind people's expectation,’ he said.’
    • ‘This brings me back to my old hobby horse and the stupid traffic system inflicted on the residents of Spelthorne.’
    • ‘Indeed, when the leak story broke, he got right back on his favorite hobby horse and began railing against unauthorized leaks as if this never happened.’
    • ‘Yes, it's my old hobby horse - the Quality of Life.’
    • ‘And you asked about collaboration among researchers; that's actually a hobby horse of yours, isn't it?’
    • ‘It deals with one of my favourite hobby horses, Complexity Theory.’
    • ‘A lot of green organisations have adopted recycling as their hobby horse despite the fact that many people have suggested that recycling involves a lot of energy to effect.’
    • ‘Warning the government to be prudent, and to remain prudent, may sound like my favourite hobby horse, - and it is, but there are sound reasons why I always carry on about not overshooting the main budget.’
    • ‘It is a focus on the young which has been a very strong hobby horse of mine for my entire career.’
    • ‘One of my little hobby horses is American cultural imperialism.’
    obsession, fixation, idée fixe, ruling passion, consuming passion, mania, compulsion, fetish, preoccupation, hobby horse
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