verb (used with object), un·horsed, un·hors·ing.

to cause to fall from a horse, as in battle; dislodge from the saddle: Sir Gawain unhorsed the strange knight.
to defeat; overcome; dislodge, as from a position or office: His vigorous campaign unhorsed his adversary.

Origin of unhorse

First recorded in 1350–1400, unhorse is from the Middle English word unhorsen. See un-2, horse
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for unhorse

Historical Examples of unhorse

  • If they win, they grab at booty; if they lose, they unhorse and pilfer their own side!

    The Bbur-nma in English

    Babur, Emperor of Hindustan

  • It took, indeed, the vast shock of the Civil War to unhorse the optimists.

    The American Language

    Henry L. Mencken

  • "I should like to see the vine that could unhorse me," answered Stacy.

  • He thought with the shock to unhorse Rire-pour-tout, and finish him then at his leisure.

    Under Two Flags

    Ouida [Louise de la Ramee]

  • Death in a huge pair of jack-boots, seizes him by the arm with a view to unhorse him.

    The Dance of Death

    Francis Douce

British Dictionary definitions for unhorse


verb (tr)

(usually passive) to knock or throw from a horse
to overthrow or dislodge, as from a powerful position
rare to unharness horses from (a carriage, etc)
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 unhorse

late 14c., "to throw (someone) from his horse," from un- (2) + horse (v.). Cf. Middle Dutch ontorsen.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper