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horse sense

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noun
  1. common sense.
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Origin of horse sense

An Americanism dating back to 1825–35
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for horse sense

Historical Examples

  • They're wanting in everything, and most of all in horse-sense.

    My Antonia

    Willa Cather

  • Contracted heels and his owner hasn't got horse-sense to know it.

    The Bishop of Cottontown

    John Trotwood Moore

  • His horse-sense had jumped to a conclusion and approved most heartily.

    The Man of the Desert

    Grace Livingston Hill

  • I don't know whether I think that is anything but horse-sense.

    The Copy-Cat and Other Stories

    Mary E. Wilkins Freeman

  • If more young fellows had the horse-sense to marry girls like that, I'd give up medicine and go on a ranch.

    The Debtor

    Mary E. Wilkins Freeman


British Dictionary definitions for horse sense

horse sense

noun
  1. another term for common sense
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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 horse sense

n.

1832, American English colloquial, from horse (n.), perhaps in referfence to the animal's qualities, or the abilites of hostlers and coachmen with the animals, perhaps from the same association of "strong, large, coarse" found in horseradish.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Idioms and Phrases with horse sense

horse sense

Sound practical sense, as in She's got too much horse sense to believe his story. The exact allusion in this term, which dates from the mid-1800s, is disputed, since some regard horses as rather stupid. However, they tended to be viewed more positively in the American West, where the term originated.

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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.