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[hob-ee-hawrs] /ˈhɒb iˌhɔrs/
a stick with a horse's head, or a rocking horse, ridden by children.
a figure of a horse, attached at the waist of a performer in a morris dance, pantomime, etc.
a pet idea or project.
Origin of hobbyhorse
First recorded in 1550-60; hobby1 + horse Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for hobbyhorse
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • And when he faced that, he left the hobbyhorse where it was under the wall and went into the street.

    Christmas Zona Gale
  • Now for a short ride on my chief (at present) hobbyhorse, viz.

  • Sheard was on his hobbyhorse, and there were few there disposed to follow him.

  • Not one of them has any hobbyhorse, to use the phrase of Sterne.

  • Once active members of real Society; no woman could go back to "society," any more than a roughrider could return to a hobbyhorse.

  • It had a sunshade and ground-reflector wings, and Bordman rode tiredly on a hobbyhorse saddle in its back cargo section.

    Sand Doom William Fitzgerald Jenkins
  • It was Malcolm's hobbyhorse, dappled gray, the tail and the mane missing and the paint worn off—and tenderly licked off—his nose.

    Christmas Zona Gale
British Dictionary definitions for hobbyhorse


a toy consisting of a stick with a figure of a horse's head at one end
another word for rocking horse
a figure of a horse attached to a performer's waist in a pantomime, morris dance, etc
a favourite topic or obsessive fixed idea (esp in the phrase on one's hobbyhorse)
(intransitive) (nautical) (of a vessel) to pitch violently
Word Origin
C16: from hobby1, originally a small horse, hence sense 3; then generalized to apply to any pastime
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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