- the combination of straps, bands, and other parts forming the working gear of a draft animal.Compare yoke1(def 1).
- (on a loom) the frame containing heddles through which the warp is drawn and which, in combination with another such frame or other frames, forms the shed and determines the woven pattern.
- the equipment, as straps, bolts, or gears, by which a large bell is mounted and rung.
- Electricity. wiring harness.
- armor for persons or horses.
- to put a harness on (a horse, donkey, dog, etc.); attach by a harness, as to a vehicle.
- to bring under conditions for effective use; gain control over for a particular end: to harness water power; to harness the energy of the sun.
- Archaic. to array in armor or equipments of war.
- in double harness. double harness(def 2).
- in harness,
- engaged in one's usual routine of work: After his illness he longed to get back in harness.
- together as cooperating partners or equals: Joe and I worked in harness on our last job.
Origin of harness
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for harness
The protests so far have relied on a small group of core organizing bodies to harness broad but diffuse support.Eric Garner Protesters Have a Direct Line to City Hall
December 11, 2014
In 1870, the very Germanically-named August Ruengling fixed a harness for a circus rider and obtained free passes for his family.We’re All Carnies Now: Why We Can’t Quit the Circus
November 27, 2014
In 1899, with a three hundred dollar investment, they opened a small saddlery and harness shop.‘The Harness Maker’s Dream:’ The Unlikely Ranch King of Texas
September 20, 2014
Whether or not guayusa is a product of selective breeding, the Kichwa have learned to harness its power.Bye Bye Latté, Hello Guayusa: Why The Amazon Holds the Secret to a Cleaner, Healthier Caffeine
August 29, 2014
London may as well also require that cabbies master the art of saddling a horse and mending a harness.As Europe Now Sees, Resisting Uber Is Futile
June 13, 2014
"My harness is yours by the law of arms," said the Spaniard, gloomily.The White Company
Arthur Conan Doyle
When they arrived at the stable Mike headed straight for the harness room.Thoroughbreds
W. A. Fraser
Lucky the cayuse who happens to be the right size for his harness.A Woman Tenderfoot
Grace Gallatin Seton-Thompson
The bully is not always, or, in fact, often the leader in harness.The Long Labrador Trail
Put our dead and wounded in the carts, and we can harness two of these chargers to them.Micah Clarke
Arthur Conan Doyle
- an arrangement of leather straps buckled or looped together, fitted to a draught animal in order that the animal can be attached to and pull a cart
- something resembling this, esp for attaching something to the bodya parachute harness
- mountaineering an arrangement of webbing straps that enables a climber to attach himself to the rope so that the impact of a fall is minimized
- the total system of electrical leads for a vehicle or aircraft
- weaving the part of a loom that raises and lowers the warp threads, creating the shed
- archaic armour collectively
- in harness at one's routine work
- to put harness on (a horse)
- (usually foll by to) to attach (a draught animal) by means of harness to (a cart, etc)
- to control so as to employ the energy or potential power ofto harness the atom
- to equip or clothe with armour
Word Origin and History for harness
c.1300, "personal fighting equipment, body armor," also "armor or trappings of a war-horse," from Old French harnois "arms, equipment; harness; male genitalia; tackle; household equipment," of uncertain origin, perhaps from Old Norse *hernest "provisions for an army," from herr "army" (see harry) + nest "provisions" (see nostalgia). Non-military sense of "fittings for a beast of burden" is from early 14c. German Harnisch "harness, armor" is the French word, borrowed into Middle High German. The Celtic words also are believed to be from French, as are Spanish arnes, Portuguese arnez, Italian arnese. Prive harness (late 14c.) was a Middle English term for "sex organs."
"to put a harness on a draught animal," c.1300, from Old French harneschier, from harnois (see harness (n.)); figurative sense is from 1690s. Related: Harnessed; harnessing.