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high horse

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noun
  1. a haughty attitude or temper; a contemptuous manner.
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Origin of high horse

late Middle English word dating back to 1375–1425
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words

condescensionpatronization

Examples from the Web for high horse

Historical Examples

  • But she was foolish to get on her 'high-horse' and turn down my proposition.

    El Diablo

    Brayton Norton

  • If she'd come off her high-horse the old man might leave a wad to Donnie.

    The Long Dim Trail

    Forrestine C. Hooker

  • Then he got on his high-horse and told me to shut up or he would knock me down.

    The Mystery at Putnam Hall

    Arthur M. Winfield

  • You wouldn't come off of your high-horse for anything, would you?

    From the Housetops

    George Barr McCutcheon

  • Hugh was on his high-horse, and full of historic reminiscences.


Word Origin and History for high horse

n.

originally (late 14c.) "fine, tall horse; war horse, charger" (high steed is from c.1300), also, like high hall, "status symbol;" figurative sense of "airs, easily wounded dignity" in mount (one's) high horse "affect airs of superiority" is from 1782 (Addison has to ride the great horse in the same sense, 1716). Cf. French monter sur ses grands chevaux; "The simile is common to most languages" [Farmer].

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

high horse in Culture

high horse

To be on one's “high horse” is to be disdainful or conceited: “Sally got tired of Peter's snobbery and finally told him to get off his high horse.”

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The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Idioms and Phrases with high horse

high horse

see on one's high horse.

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