American English

Definition of horn noun from the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary



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  1. 1[countable] a hard pointed part that grows, usually in pairs, on the heads of some animals, such as sheep and cows. Horns are often curved.
  2. 2[countable] a horn on the head of a male deer synonym antler
  3. 3[uncountable] the hard substance of which animal horns are made
  4. 4[countable] a device in a vehicle for making a loud sound as a warning or signal to honk your car horn Behind him, a horn blared. see also foghorn
  5. 5[countable] a simple musical instrument that consists of a curved metal tube that you blow into a hunting horn
  6. 6[countable] = French horn a horn concerto see also English horn
  7. Idioms
    be/get on the horn (informal)
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    to talk on the telephone
    blow/toot your own horn (informal)
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    to praise your own abilities and achievements synonym boast This phrase refers to the custom of announcing important guests by blowing a horn.
    draw/pull your horns in
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    to start being more careful in your behavior, especially by spending less money than before Small businesses have had to pull their horns in during the recession.
    lock horns (with somebody) (over something)
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    to get involved in an argument or a disagreement with someone The company has locked horns with the unions over proposed pay cuts.
    on the horns of a dilemma
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    in a situation in which you have to make a choice between things that are equally unpleasant The medical profession's eagerness for scientific advance had impaled it on the horns of a dilemma, forcing an unnatural choice between science and morality.
    take the bull by the horns
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    to face a difficult or dangerous situation directly and with courage Nora decided to take the bull by the horns and organize things herself.
See the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary entry: horn