To die in harness
Harness Har"ness (-n[e^]s), n. [OE. harneis, harnes, OF. harneis, F. harnais, harnois; of Celtic origin; cf. Armor. harnez old iron, armor, W. haiarn iron, Armor. houarn, Ir. iarann, Gael. iarunn. Cf. {Iron}.] 1. Originally, the complete dress, especially in a military sense, of a man or a horse; hence, in general, armor. [1913 Webster]

At least we'll die with harness on our back. --Shak. [1913 Webster]

2. The equipment of a draught or carriage horse, for drawing a wagon, coach, chaise, etc.; gear; tackling. [1913 Webster]

3. The part of a loom comprising the heddles, with their means of support and motion, by which the threads of the warp are alternately raised and depressed for the passage of the shuttle. [1913 Webster]

{To die in harness}, to die with armor on; hence, colloquially, to die while actively engaged in work or duty. [1913 Webster]


The Collaborative International Dictionary of English. 2000.

Look at other dictionaries:

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