Definition of workhorse in US English:

workhorse

noun

  • 1A horse used for work on a farm.

    • ‘They tend to be more workhorses than show horses.’
    • ‘They are workhorses and the one I chose is both affordable and powerful.’
    • ‘Edmund kept two horses for himself, but the rest were workhorses for the land or pulling carriages.’
    • ‘After 26 years of horse power, we sold our six workhorses (yes, we were guilty of ‘get bigger or get out’), completing our switch to using hand power.’
    • ‘We experimented with teams of Percheron and Belgian workhorses.’
    • ‘As machinery began to overtake the use of workhorses, the Black Forest horse became endangered.’
    1. 1.1 A person or machine that dependably performs hard work over a long period of time.
      ‘he was a workhorse of an actor, often appearing in as many as forty plays in a year’
      • ‘Gradually he made a name for himself as (so he put it) a workhorse and not a show horse; his fellow senators came to admire him.’
      • ‘Communications satellites have become the workhorses in this area due to their effectiveness and efficiency.’
      • ‘Both players mix OK strikeout numbers with good groundball rates, and both are workhorses with solid control.’
      • ‘Galvanometers are the workhorses behind many laser-based, materials-processing applications such as ablating, cutting, drilling, marking, and welding.’
      • ‘He's a workhorse on a team that plays hard defensively, but provides little cushion offensively.’
      • ‘Chunky, practical and uninspiring, it used to be nothing more than a dependable workhorse.’
      • ‘Coming from Land Rover, which had made its name in producing rugged off-road workhorses used by farmers, the military and police the world over, the new model aimed to continue the tradition.’
      • ‘Motors and drives - the workhorses of many dairy plants - can play an important role in lowering kilowatt hours.’
      • ‘They're sort of workhorses of the airline industry.’
      • ‘Thundering across fields remains the preserve of a small band of well-built, farm-ready workhorses with indestructible axles.’
      • ‘And it wasn't made any easier by the fact that the genius works like a horse and that the workhorse made himself into a genius during the season.’
      • ‘He's also near the top of the offensive rebounding charts and is among the NBA's biggest workhorses in terms of minutes played.’
      • ‘‘They've been the workhorses of the industry and are absolutely our best friends,’ the microbiologist says.’
      • ‘If jazzy products and packages are the show horses, a dairy's filling process can be considered the workhorse of an operation.’
      • ‘Lloyd was a workhorse out of the Blue Jays' bullpen in 1999, and that may have been one of the factors that led to his shoulder surgery in 2000.’
      • ‘Sure, you've got tanks and jeeps, but the real workhorses of this war are helicopters and PBR patrol boats.’
      • ‘Transistors are best known as the workhorses of the computing world; a computer's microprocessor chip contains millions of these tiny, voltage-controlled switches.’
      • ‘The Hercules aircraft used by the RAAF are slow by modern standards, but the big four prop engine planes are reliable workhorses used, of course, the world over.’
      • ‘Common diode lasers - the type used in laser pointers and grocery-store scanners - are cheap laboratory workhorses for colors ranging from orange to infrared.’
      • ‘Despite all this, the truck, a workhorse used by farmers and builders throughout the world, still managed to drive into the Top Gear studio after only relatively minor repairs.’
      hard worker, toiler, stakhanovite, galley slave
      View synonyms

Pronunciation

workhorse

/ˈwərkˌhɔrs//ˈwərkˌhôrs/