Advertisement

Advertisement

View synonyms for dark horse

dark horse

noun

  1. a racehorse, competitor, etc., about whom little is known or who unexpectedly wins.
  2. a candidate who is unexpectedly nominated at a political convention.


dark horse

noun

  1. a competitor in a race or contest about whom little is known; an unknown
  2. a person who reveals little about himself or his activities, esp one who has unexpected talents or abilities
  3. politics a candidate who is unexpectedly nominated or elected


dark horse

  1. An unexpected winner. In politics, a dark horse is a candidate for office considered unlikely to receive his or her party's nomination, but who might be nominated if party leaders cannot agree on a better candidate.


Discover More

Word History and Origins

Origin of dark horse1

First recorded in 1825–35
Discover More

Idioms and Phrases

A little known, unexpectedly successful entrant, as in You never can tell—some dark horse may come along and win a Senate seat . This metaphoric expression originally alluded to an unknown horse winning a race and was so used in a novel by Benjamin Disraeli ( The Young Duke , 1831). It soon began to be transferred to political candidates, among the first of whom was James K. Polk. He won the 1844 Democratic Presidential nomination on the eighth ballot and went on to win the election.
Discover More

Example Sentences

For years, advertisers have considered Amazon to be a dark horse to upend the Google-Facebook duopoly.

From Digiday

Earlier this year, Honeywell, a dark horse, surprised many people by bursting onto the quantum computing scene with a version of its own technology.

From Fortune

Like some other Hyundai products, the Ioniq is a bit of a dark horse.

From Fortune

Another dark horse, Tennessee Senator Al Gore, was finding little traction in his efforts to become a centrist alternative.

Several years later I met George in New York while he was in the middle of his Dark Horse tour.

Even Katy Perry felt silly during her “Dark Horse” performance, right?

The scene was similar in 1978 when Karol Wojtyla from Poland was elected on the eight ballot as a dark-horse candidate.

Oscar gurus even peg him as a dark horse for a Best Actor nod this year.

How long had Inspector Whiteleaf and this dark horse in the fur coat been gone at the time you heard the noise?

These had occasionally surprised men and induced them to declare that Planty Pall,—as he was then often called,—was a dark horse.

The dark horse had won, and public favor immediately swung in his direction.

The supporting representatives of the dark horse made short, forceful speeches.

Hume had gained ten votes from the Wilksley men and fifteen from the dark horse, but still lacked the requisite number.

Advertisement

Related Words

Definitions and idiom definitions from Dictionary.com Unabridged, based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

Idioms from The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.

Advertisement

Advertisement

Advertisement


dark glassesdark internet