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Definition horse

Etymology 1


horse (plural horses)

  1. Any of several animals related to Equus ferus caballus.
    1. A hoofed mammal, of the genus Equus, often used throughout history for riding and draft work.
    2. (zoology) Any current or extinct animal of the family Equidae, including the zebra or the ass.
    3. (military, sometimes uncountable) Cavalry soldiers (sometimes capitalized when referring to an official category).
    4. (chess, informal) The chess piece representing a knight, depicted as a horse.
    5. (slang) A large and sturdy person.
    6. (historical) A timber frame shaped like a horse, which soldiers were made to ride for punishment.
  2. Equipment with legs.
    1. In gymnastics, a piece of equipment with a body on two or four legs, approximately four feet high, sometimes (pommel horse) with two handles on top .
    2. A frame with legs, used to support something.
  3. (nautical) Type of equipment.
    1. A rope stretching along a yard, upon which men stand when reefing or furling the sails; footrope.
    2. A breastband for a leadsman.
    3. An iron bar for a sheet traveller to slide upon.
    4. A jackstay.
  4. (mining) A mass of earthy matter, or rock of the same character as the wall rock, occurring in the course of a vein, as of coal or ore; hence, to take horse (said of a vein) is to divide into branches for a distance.
  5. (slang) The sedative, antidepressant, and anxiolytic drug morphine, chiefly when used illicitly.
  6. (US) An informal variant of basketball in which players match shots made by their opponent(s), each miss adding a letter to the word "horse", with 5 misses spelling the whole word and eliminating a player, until only the winner is left. Also HORSE, H-O-R-S-E or H.O.R.S.E. (see H-O-R-S-E on Wikipedia.Wikipedia ).
  7. (dated, slang, among students) A translation or other illegitimate aid in study or examination.
  8. (dated, slang, among students) horseplay; tomfoolery

Etymology 2

From Middle English horsen, from Old English horsian (“to horse, provide with horses”) and ġehorsian (“to horse, set or mount on a horse, supply with horses”), from the noun (see above).


horse (third-person singular simple present horses, present participle horsing, simple past and past participle horsed)

  1. (intransitive) To frolic, to act mischievously. (Usually followed by "around".)
  2. (transitive) To provide with a horse; supply horses for.
  3. (obsolete) To get on horseback.
  4. To sit astride of; to bestride.
  5. (of a male horse) To copulate with (a mare).
  6. To take or carry on the back.
  7. To place on the back of another person, or on a wooden horse, etc., to be flogged; to subject to such punishment.

Etymology 3



horse (uncountable)

  1. (uncountable, slang) Heroin (drug).

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