harness

[hahr-nis]
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noun

verb (used with object)


Idioms

    in double harness. double harness(def 2).
    in harness,
    1. engaged in one's usual routine of work: After his illness he longed to get back in harness.
    2. together as cooperating partners or equals: Joe and I worked in harness on our last job.

Origin of harness

1250–1300; Middle English harneis, herneis < Old French herneis baggage, equipment < Old Norse *hernest provisions for an armed force, equivalent to herr army (cf. harbor, herald) + nest provisions for a journey
Related formshar·ness·er, nounhar·ness·less, adjectivehar·ness·like, adjectivere·har·ness, verb (used with object)well-har·nessed, adjective

Synonyms for harness

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019


Examples from the Web for harness

Contemporary Examples of harness

Historical Examples of harness

  • "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.

  • Put our dead and wounded in the carts, and we can harness two of these chargers to them.

    Micah Clarke

    Arthur Conan Doyle


British Dictionary definitions for harness

harness

noun

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

verb (tr)

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
Derived Formsharnesser, nounharnessless, adjectiveharness-like, adjective

Word Origin for harness

C13: from Old French harneis baggage, probably from Old Norse hernest (unattested) provisions, from herr army + nest provisions
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

Word Origin and History for harness
n.

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."

v.

"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.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Idioms and Phrases with harness

harness

see die with one's boots on (in harness) in harness.

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