(plural horses; also horse)
Etymology: Middle English hors, from Old English; akin to Old High German hros horse
Date: before 12th century
(1) a large solid-hoofed herbivorous ungulate mammal (Equus caballus, family Equidae, the horse family) domesticated since prehistoric times and used as a beast of burden, a draft animal, or for riding
(2) racehorse <play the horses> b. a male horse; especially stallion c. a recent or extinct animal (as a zebra, ass, or onager) of the horse family 2. a. jackstay b. a frame usually with legs used for supporting something (as planks or staging) c. (1) pommel horse (2) vaulting horse 3. horse plural cavalry 4. a mass of the same geological character as the wall rock occurring within a vein 5. horsepower 6. slang heroin 7. an athlete whose performance is consistently strong and reliable <a team with the horses to win the pennant> 8. or H-O-R-S-E a game in which players take turns attempting to duplicate successful basketball shots, a letter of the word "horse" is awarded for each missed attempt, and the first player to receive all five letters loses • horseless adjective • horselike adjective II. verb (horsed; horsing) Date: before 12th century transitive verb 1. to provide with a horse 2. to move by brute force intransitive verb of a mare to be in heat III. adjective Date: 15th century 1. a. of or relating to a horse b. hauled or powered by a horse <a horse barge> 2. large or coarse of its kind 3. mounted on horses <horse guards>
New Collegiate Dictionary. 2001.