- 1 a large animal with four legs, a mane (= long thick hair on its neck) and a tail. Horses are used for riding on, pulling carriages, etc. He mounted his horse and rode off. a horse and cart see also colt, filly, foal, gelding, mare, stallion Wordfinderbridle, gallop, harness, horse, paddock, rein, stable, stirrup, tack, thoroughbred See related entries: Farm animals, Domesticated mammals
- 2the horses [plural] (informal) horse racing He lost a lot of money on the horses (= by gambling on races).
- 3= vaulting horse see also clothes horse, hobby horse, Quarter Horse, rocking horse, seahorse, stalking horse, Trojan horse, white horses Word Origin Old English hors, of Germanic origin; related to Dutch ros and German Ross.Extra examples He got a part as the rear end of a pantomime horse. He urged his horse into a gallop. He was jailed for 15 years for nobbling a horse that had been going to run in the Derby. He was mounted on the finest horse you could ever see. He won second prize in a horse show. Heavy horses were used for delivering beer. Hundreds of animals are bought and sold at the annual horse fair. Several horses trotted past us. She has a knack for handling horses. The brewery had 25 heavy horses delivering beer in London. The car in front was pulling a horse box. The cart overturned, the horse plunging and rearing in its traces. The horse stumbled and threw its rider. The horse trough was full of stagnant water. The race organizers became suspicious when the two most fancied horses finished last. The weary horse plodded up the hill. There are ten horses running in the next race. They collected tissue samples for cloning from 75 champion horses. They passed an old horse pulling a cart full of apples. They would need fresh horses if they were to reach the border the next day. Three horses fell when a loose horse ran across the track. horse-drawn vehicles political horse-tradingIdioms (British English) to support somebody/something that is not successful (informal) to behave in a way that shows you think you are better than other people to change to a different or new activity while you are in the middle of something else; to change from supporting one person or thing to another
- 1(British English) a person who does not tell other people much about their life, and who surprises other people by having interesting qualities
- 2a person taking part in a race, etc. who surprises everyone by winning
to try to prevent or avoid loss or damage when it is already too late to do so
used to say that nothing would prevent somebody from doing something or make them do something they do not want to do
(saying) you can give somebody the opportunity to do something, but you cannot force them to do it if they do not want to