Definition of warhorse in English:



  • 1(in historical contexts) a large, powerful horse ridden in battle.

    • ‘With a thump, a gangplank was lowered from the first ship, and a young man - no older than Lord Mark and Christian - appeared, sitting atop a fine warhorse.’
    • ‘Dalen put her on his own warhorse and they rode double.’
    • ‘He rode until his black warhorse stood beside Copper, grabbing her reigns so she could go no further toward Snowkeep.’
    • ‘Normal black horses or black warhorses powered most of them.’
    1. 1.1informal A soldier, politician, or sports player who has fought many campaigns or contests.
      • ‘Gorton rode into the Senate in 1980 on the heels of the Reagan landslide, defeating that old liberal warhorse, Warren Magnuson.’
      • ‘There has been a welcome youthful look to Stuart Kennedy's side this term but it was that old warhorse Gary McLaughlin who set up this victory with a remarkable six wicket haul.’
      • ‘That old warhorse, Miguel Angel Nadal, reflected on Ireland and the previous meeting between the teams in a Lansdowne Road World Cup qualifier in 1993.’
      • ‘The old warhorse Darren Starkey gave Copmanthorpe the first half lead at Pocklington and Mark Flood wrapped up the points in the second period as Cop won 2-0.’
      • ‘Beckett was an Old Labour warhorse, and she was damned if she was going to go easier on the electricity mega-corporations than her Tory predecessor.’
      • ‘Don't forget, I was the astute observer who told you to watch out for desperate political warhorses with nothing to lose, such as Joe ‘Grand-Mere’ Clark.’
      • ‘And Amir Peretz, who has rejoined the Labor Party, is running for party leader in primaries later this month against (among others) the old Labor warhorse Shimon Peres.’
      • ‘Knowles played alongside Derek Dougan - that famous old Northern Ireland warhorse who went on to control the club several years later.’
      • ‘David Wetherall and Mark Bower were always on top of old warhorse Wayne Allison, who on Saturday's evidence looks past his sell-by date.’
      • ‘As staunch Padmaja-supporters are rallying behind the emerging leader in the ‘I’ faction, the old warhorses in the union have raised a banner of revolt against her appointment.’
      • ‘Maligned forward Jamal Mashburn has improved his defense and stayed healthy, and 34-year-old warhorse Dan Majerle is still capable of hitting clutch jump shots.’
      • ‘The visitors' skipper Mark Batty 69 and old warhorse Steve Dalby 44 set up the comfortable victory.’
      • ‘Holmes however was just seen in an exhibition fight, so it might be that the old warhorse will still step in the ring despite what the public would hope.’
      • ‘You won't find any mention of his new job on the BBC News site, which neglects to inform us where the old Shadow Chancellor will be plying his trade in the newly-shuffled Conservative warhorse.’
      • ‘Liverpool fan Nolan is looking forward to a likely showdown with warhorse Mark Hughes, who has been used in a deeper role by Blackburn recently.’
      • ‘The youthful John Edwards goes into battle with that old warhorse Dick Cheney in round two of the campaign debates.’
      • ‘Given Mortimer's own frail health, it was widely assumed that the old warhorse had been pensioned - if not killed - off.’
      • ‘And if he doesn't play in Melbourne, the 35-year-old pace warhorse certainly won't play in the third Test in Sydney, just days after the Melbourne Test.’
      • ‘With Samuel French receiving medical treatment for mild hypothermia warhorse George Day took control of midfield and opened play up.’
    2. 1.2US informal A musical, theatrical, or literary work that has been heard or performed repeatedly.
      ‘that old warhorse Liszt's “Hungarian Rhapsody No. 2.”’
      • ‘Giant faces reflect the beatification of these two warhorses of modernism - veritable sacred monsters.’
      • ‘Although Frankenstein and Middlemarch are mentioned en passant, these warhorses of science-and-literature courses are refreshingly absent from Levine's sheaf of readings.’
      • ‘This becomes even more evident in Prelude & Liebestod, primarily the interior monologue of a celebrated maestro while conducting that Wagnerian warhorse.’
      • ‘I'm happy Lang Lang is a Telarc artist, and I hope he is given the opportunity to ride more than just warhorses.’
      • ‘While sticking to the warhorses, its quality can be uneven, often hampered by inadequate singers, cheap rental sets and dopey stage directors.’
      • ‘There's a beautiful clarity to Small's playing even when he essays some of the big warhorses of 19th century musical literature.’
      • ‘The other big mother-daughter team on the West End is Vanessa Redgrave and Joely Richardson in a sublime production of Oscar Wilde's early warhorse Lady Windermere's Fan.’
      • ‘The Dvorak Cello Concerto is probably more the show of the late Jacqueline du Pré, who gives a fine and committed performance of this warhorse.’
      • ‘The Turner thesis has been a warhorse of American historiography for over a century now.’
      • ‘And what's not to like about the idea of injecting new life into tired warhorses?’
      • ‘A sextet version of Armando's Tango features the emotive bass clarinet of Britain's Tim Garland and the old warhorse Autumn Leaves gets some creative re-shaping by the Akoustic Band.’
      • ‘So why not demand that the audience that keeps ballet shackled to a very short list of warhorses pay the full cost of their pastime and turn public dance funds to better uses?’