verb (used with object)

to strip of harness; detach the harness from (a horse, mule, etc.).
to divest of armor, as a knight or warhorse.

Origin of unharness

First recorded in 1400–50, unharness is from the Middle English word onharnesen. See un-2, harness
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for unharness

Historical Examples of unharness

British Dictionary definitions for unharness


verb (tr)

to remove the harness from (a horse, etc)
archaic to remove the armour from
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 unharness

mid-15c., "divest of armor," from un- (2) + harness (v.). Cf. Dutch ontharnassen "to disarm." Meaning "to free (a horse) from harness" is recorded from 1610s. Related: Unharnessed; unharnessing.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper