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[wawr-hawrs] /ˈwɔrˌhɔrs/
a horse used in war; charger.
Informal. a veteran, as a soldier or politician, of many struggles and conflicts.
a musical composition, play, etc., that has been seen, heard, or performed excessively.
Origin of war-horse
First recorded in 1645-55; war1 + horse Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for war horse
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • The war horse whirled and trotted obediently to—Delgadito himself!

    The Story of Geronimo James Arthur Kjelgaard
  • He longed for battle as the war horse that already sniffs the fray.

    Brother Against Brother John Roy Musick
  • As Geronimo rode down the hill, Delgadito's war horse caught scent of the other stallion and screamed his challenge.

    The Story of Geronimo James Arthur Kjelgaard
  • Like the war horse in the Bible, the veteran traveller shouted "Aha!"

  • I have also taken some pains to investigate the later history of the old Winchester war horse.

    Remarks Bill Nye
  • "It'll be worth it," replied the other, scenting the battle like a war horse.

war horse in Culture

war horse definition

A person or thing that has seen long service or has lived through many hardships and can be relied on: “That teacher is a real war horse; he has seen the dismissal of ten different principals.”

The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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Idioms and Phrases with war horse

war horse

Also,old war horse. A dependable, frequently performed attraction, as in The opera company is doing nothing but old war horses this season, like, A&idie;da and La Bohème. This term originated in the mid-1600s for a military charger that had been through many battles. In the 1800s it began to be used for human veterans, and in the mid-1900s for popular productions, especially of musical works.
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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