horn

[hawrn]
|

noun

verb (used with object)

adjective

made of horn.

Idioms

    blow/toot one's own horn, Informal. to publicize or boast about one's abilities or achievements: He's a bright fellow, but likes to blow his own horn too much.
    draw/pull in one's horns, to restrain oneself or become less belligerent; retreat: Since he lost so much gambling, he's drawn in his horns a bit.
    horn in, Informal. to thrust oneself forward obtrusively; intrude or interrupt: Every time we try to have a private conversation, the boss horns in.
    lock horns, to conflict, quarrel, or disagree: The administration and the staff locked horns over the proposed measures.
    on the horns of a dilemma, confronted with two equally disagreeable choices.

Origin of horn

before 900; Middle English horn(e) (noun), Old English horn; cognate with Dutch horen, Old Norse, Danish, Swedish horn, German Horn, Gothic haurn, Latin cornu cornu, Irish, Welsh corn; akin to Greek kéras horn (see cerat-)
Related formshorn·ish, adjectivehorn·less, adjectivehorn·less·ness, nounhorn·like, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019


British Dictionary definitions for pull in one's horns

Horn

noun

Cape See Cape Horn

horn

noun

either of a pair of permanent outgrowths on the heads of cattle, antelopes, sheep, etc, consisting of a central bony core covered with layers of keratinRelated adjectives: corneous, keratoid
the outgrowth from the nasal bone of a rhinoceros, consisting of a mass of fused hairs
any hornlike projection or process, such as the eyestalk of a snail
the antler of a deer
  1. the constituent substance, mainly keratin, of horns, hooves, etc
  2. (in combination)horn-rimmed spectacles
a container or device made from this substance or an artificial substitutea shoe horn; a drinking horn
an object or part resembling a horn in shape, such as the points at either end of a crescent, the point of an anvil, the pommel of a saddle, or a cornucopia
a primitive musical wind instrument made from the horn of an animal
any musical instrument consisting of a pipe or tube of brass fitted with a mouthpiece, with or without valvesSee hunting horn, French horn, cor anglais
jazz slang any wind instrument
  1. a device for producing a warning or signalling noise
  2. (in combination)a foghorn
(usually plural) the hornlike projection attributed to certain devils, deities, etc
(usually plural) the imaginary hornlike parts formerly supposed to appear on the forehead of a cuckold
Also called: horn balance an extension of an aircraft control surface that projects in front of the hinge providing aerodynamic assistance in moving the control
  1. Also called: acoustic horn, exponential horna hollow conical device coupled to the diaphragm of a gramophone to control the direction and quality of the sound
  2. any such device used to spread or focus sound, such as the device attached to an electrical loudspeaker in a public address system
  3. Also called: horn antennaa microwave aerial, formed by flaring out the end of a waveguide
geology another name for pyramidal peak
a stretch of land or water shaped like a horn
British slang an erection of the penis
Bible a symbol of power, victory, or successin my name shall his horn be exalted
blow one's horn US and Canadian to boast about oneself; bragBrit equivalent: blow one's own trumpet
draw in one's horns or pull in one's horns
  1. to suppress or control one's feelings, esp of anger, enthusiasm, or passion
  2. to withdraw a previous statement
  3. to economize
on the horns of a dilemma
  1. in a situation involving a choice between two equally unpalatable alternatives
  2. in an awkward situation

verb (tr)

to provide with a horn or horns
to gore or butt with a horn
See also horn in
Derived Formshornless, adjectivehornlike, adjective

Word Origin for horn

Old English; related to Old Norse horn, Gothic haurn, Latin cornu horn
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 pull in one's horns

horn

n.

Old English horn "horn of an animal," also "wind instrument" (originally made from animal horns), from Proto-Germanic *hurnaz (cf. German Horn, Dutch horen, Gothic haurn), from PIE *ker- "horn; head, uppermost part of the body," with derivatives refering to horned animals, horn-shaped objects and projecting parts (cf. Greek karnon "horn," Latin cornu "horn," Sanskrit srngam "horn," Persian sar "head," Avestan sarah- "head," Greek koryphe "head," Latin cervus "deer," Welsh carw "deer"). Reference to car horns is first recorded 1901. Figurative senses of Latin cornu included "salient point, chief argument; wing, flank; power, courage, strength." Jazz slang sense of "trumpet" is by 1921. Meaning "telephone" is by 1945.

horn

v.

1690s, "to furnish with horns," from horn (n.). Earlier in figurative sense of "to cuckold" (1540s). Meaning "to push with the horns" (of cattle, buffalo, etc.) is from 1851, American English; phrase horn in "intrude" is by 1880, American English, originally cowboy slang.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Medicine definitions for pull in one's horns

horn

[hôrn]

n.

One of the hard, usually permanent structures projecting from the head of certain mammals, such as cattle, consisting of a bony core covered with a sheath of keratinous material.
A hard protuberance that is similar to or suggestive of a horn.
The hard, smooth keratinous material forming the outer covering of animal horns.
Any of the major subdivisions of the lateral ventricle in the cerebral hemisphere of the brain: the frontal horn, occipital horn, and temporal horn.cornu
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

Science definitions for pull in one's horns

horn

[hôrn]

Either of the bony growths projecting from the upper part of the head of certain hoofed mammals, such as cattle, sheep, and goats. The horns of these animals are never shed, and they consist of bone covered by keratin.
A hard growth that looks like a horn, such as an antler or a growth on the head of a giraffe or rhinoceros. Unlike true horns, antlers are shed yearly and have a velvety covering, and the horns of a rhinoceros are made not of bone but of hairy skin fused with keratin.
The hard durable substance that forms the outer covering of true horns. It consists of keratin.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Idioms and Phrases with pull in one's horns

pull in one's horns

Also, draw in one's horns.

1

Retreat, back down, restrain oneself, as in The town manager wanted higher taxes but public reaction made him draw in his horns. This expression alludes to the snail's habit of drawing in the soft projecting parts of its body when it is threatened. The idea was first expressed in the 15th century as shrink one's horns, and the idiom with draw developed about the same time. The idiom with pull did not appear until a century later.

2

Reduce expenses, as in That drop in profits will force the company to pull in its horns. [Late 1800s]

horn

In addition to the idioms beginning with horn

  • horn in on
  • horns of a dilemma, on the

also see:

  • blow one's own horn
  • lock horns
  • pull in one's horns
  • take the bull by the horns
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.