Definition of one-horse in US English:

one-horse

adjective

  • 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
    View synonyms
    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.’

Phrases

  • 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.’

Pronunciation

one-horse

/ˈwənˌhɔrs//ˈwənˌhôrs/