Try Our Apps


Avoid these words. Seriously.


[uhn-hahr-nis] /ʌnˈhɑr nɪs/
verb (used with object)
to strip of harness; detach the harness from (a horse, mule, etc.).
to divest of armor, as a knight or warhorse.
Origin of unharness
First recorded in 1400-50, unharness is from the Middle English word onharnesen. See un-2, harness Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
Cite This Source
Examples from the Web for unharness
Historical Examples
  • He began to unharness before the first sentence was finished.

    The Forbidden Trail Honor Willsie
  • He hoped that his father would not come and help him unharness the horses.

  • Afraid,” growled the fellow, proceeding to unharness his horse; “that was the word, I think.

    Lavengro George Borrow
  • He said he put the package on the wagon-seat, and got out to unharness the horse.

  • unharness the Sawhorse, somebody; my fingers are too clumsy.

    The Lost Princess of Oz

    L. Frank Baum
  • Unravel this, and your day's work is done, your team may then unharness.

    Hamlet William Shakespeare
  • "You can unharness the horse; I shall be here two hours," she said to the waiting Brown.

    The Secret House Edgar Wallace
  • I helped him unharness Bob and Betty, while he told me where he had taken the Downeses.

    Swept Out to Sea

    W. Bertram Foster
  • When they drove into the yard he said: "Take Frank right in, sis, and I'll unharness."

    Uncle Terry Charles Clark Munn
  • "Well, unharness him and we'll get him on board," said the farmer.

British Dictionary definitions for unharness


verb (transitive)
to remove the harness from (a horse, etc)
(archaic) to remove the armour from
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
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for unharness

mid-15c., "divest of armor," from un- (2) + harness (v.). Cf. Dutch ontharnassen "to disarm." Meaning "to free (a horse) from harness" is recorded from 1610s. Related: Unharnessed; unharnessing.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Nearby words for unharness

Word Value for unharness

Scrabble Words With Friends