Definition of one-horse in US English:



  • 1Drawn by or using a single horse.

    • ‘Racing Hall of Fame jockey Eddie D, injured Friday in a one-horse spill at Del Mar, will be out of action for the remainder of the Del Mar meeting.’
    • ‘One pair of heavy draught animals with a heavy truck could pull as much as four one-horse drays.’
    • ‘With the royal stables under siege near the Château d' Eau, the royal family escaped the Tuileries in three one-horse carriages.’
    • ‘On the inside, it looked as if the shed was used for a one-horse pen.’
    • ‘Suddenly a one-horse sleigh came running toward Mitsuko and Hideo.’
    • ‘So it was done and they were on their way back to the little cottage in the one-horse cart.’
    • ‘Oh what fun it is to ride in a one-horse open sleigh!’
    • ‘In those postwar years, vehicles evolved from plantation wagons drawn by oxen or mules to what Ball called ‘Northern horse wagons,’ then to one-horse and two-horse buggies.’
    • ‘Four hundredweight in a one-horse cart was low in comparison with the weights carried by scheduled carriers but it is a plausible average to use for traffic on the rural roads of Cheshire.’
    • ‘In 1848 American Agriculturist praised new wagons light enough to be pulled by only two horses. By the 1860s one-horse wagons were available.’
    • ‘These required only a man and a horse to operate, but brought about an overall increase in the amount of rolling stock. By 1890 nearly half of the Metropolitan Street Railway's cars were one-horse open cars, suitable only for summer.’
    • ‘It looks like a lovely one-horse open ice sleigh, dashing through the snow.’
    • ‘The 40-year-old conditioner started training in 1991 with a one-horse stable.’
    • ‘Grandma Abbey needed a doctor again, and after an anxious wait, he arrived, hitched his one-horse shay to the front-yard post and entered the house where he put his travel-worn black bag on the kitchen table.’
    • ‘A one-horse cart could carry much more than a packhorse but travelled more slowly.’
    • ‘The brougham, a one-horse closed carriage, with two or four wheels, is named after him.’
    uneventful, uninteresting, unexciting, uninspiring, dull, boring, flat, quiet, sleepy, slow, stale, humdrum, tame, pedestrian, lacklustre, lifeless
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    1. 1.1informal Small and insignificant.
      ‘a one-horse town’
      • ‘In this one-horse tech town dominated by MIT, it's fun to think what this might mean.’
      • ‘Much better surrounding hill towns like Ramatuelle, or the one-horse village of La Mole near my bed and breakfast.’
      • ‘A person from a one-horse village would be as ill-prepared.’
      • ‘Behmhusen is somewhat less than a one-horse village, so I was immediately packed off to Lüneburg to finish school with my cousins.’
      • ‘Hopper is your standard closet intellectual, the kind of guy who could make something of himself if he could only get out of his one-horse hometown.’


  • one-horse race

    • A contest in which one candidate or competitor is clearly superior to all the others and seems certain to win.

      • ‘Now it is widely assumed that this recent development changes everything, that the East is suddenly a one-horse race, and that the Heat - Zo and behold - has become the favorite to make it to June.’
      • ‘Rotorua voters have given a strong - and very public - hint that they are more interested in party policy than the one-horse candidacy race predicted for the electorate.’
      • ‘He proved he did, but the nine straight titles Rangers garnered under his chairmanship owed much to the fact that the Scottish championship was, at this stage, a one-horse race with Celtic lurching towards bankruptcy.’
      • ‘From a neutral perspective, I just hope it is a season of uncertainty and unpredictability, not a one-horse race.’
      • ‘A spokesman for the Friends of York Archives said: ‘We have always said this should not be a one-horse race.’’
      • ‘When it comes to delicious treats at Royal Ascot, this North Yorkshire company has made it a one-horse race.’
      • ‘In many eyes, this year's Best Actress Oscar contest is a one-horse race.’
      • ‘So I think those people who are dissatisfied, that kind of mood really needs to fester for a long time before that kind of movement will emerge, or if there's a merger between some of the existing parties, but really it's a one-horse race.’
      • ‘‘Of course the polls were also telling us it was a one-horse race, and have been telling young people that throughout their teenage years,’ Curtice said.’
      • ‘The 1975 contest was a one-horse race - this time in the sense that Captain Christy led from start to finish and ended up an emphatic 30-length winner.’
      • ‘One Deutsche shareholder said: ‘I don't buy into this argument that it will descend to a one-horse race.’
      • ‘This time round it looks like being a one-horse race - even taking into consideration Mandelson's actions and any subsequent damage to the party.’
      • ‘Maybe last season, with a one-horse race at the top and bottom marked the nadir.’
      • ‘In this region that means Bradford and it's a one-horse race.’
      • ‘There was no need for a similar betting frenzy that was going on down the road at Aintree a day earlier - this was a one-horse race from the off.’
      • ‘The SPL has been a one-horse race for the past two seasons.’
      • ‘In the run home, it was a one-horse affair with The Rat scoring by five and a quarter lengths.’
      • ‘But I think even I could confidently predict the next winners of the Premiership because Arsenal have managed to turn it into a one-horse race.’
      • ‘Frankly, the debate about whether the weather or market reports should come at the end of Newsnight has been far more gripping than this one-horse race and, you know, I blame the lack of visual stimulus that our politicians provide.’
      • ‘These one-horse races are not big at the box-office.’