the back of a horse.
Geology. a low, natural ridge of sand or gravel; an esker.Compare hogback.


on horseback: to ride horseback.


made or given in a casual or speculative way; approximate or offhand: a horseback estimate on the construction costs.

Origin of horseback

1350–1400; Middle English. See horse, back1 Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for horseback

Contemporary Examples of horseback

Historical Examples of horseback

  • Next day he called at the gate, on horseback, to inquire for mistress.

    To be Read at Dusk

    Charles Dickens

  • He was surprised to see Stoliker on horseback in front of one of the taverns.

  • And is not the whole land like a beggar on horseback riding post to the Davil?

    Old News

    Nathaniel Hawthorne

  • Then, as for active exercises, she could ride on horseback as well as any man in her kingdom.

    Biographical Stories

    Nathaniel Hawthorne

  • It was a fellow-creature on horseback, dressed in the absurdest manner.

British Dictionary definitions for horseback



  1. a horse's back (esp in the phrase on horseback)
  2. (as modifier)horseback riding
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 horseback

late 14c., from horse (n.) + back (n.).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper