See more synonyms for war-horse on Thesaurus.com
  1. a horse used in war; charger.
  2. Informal. a veteran, as a soldier or politician, of many struggles and conflicts.
  3. a musical composition, play, etc., that has been seen, heard, or performed excessively.

Origin of war-horse

First recorded in 1645–55; war1 + horse
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for warhorse

Historical Examples of warhorse

  • That act of justice ended, Henry mounted his warhorse and rode in at the gates.

    The Caged Lion

    Charlotte M. Yonge

  • The flash of a fork appeals to him like the sound of a trumpet to the warhorse.


    (AKA Alpha of the Plough) Alfred George Gardiner

  • They formed together on the shore, each armed upon his warhorse.

  • For was not Oliver, the earl's noble Spanish warhorse, in the castle?

    The Siege of Norwich Castle

    Matilda Maria Blake

  • This was for the heroic Mother Duchesne like the blast of a trumpet for a warhorse.

British Dictionary definitions for warhorse


  1. a horse used in battle
  2. informal a veteran soldier, politician, or elderly person, esp one who is aggressive
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 warhorse

1650s, "powerful horse ridden into war," from war + horse (n.). Figurative sense of "seasoned veteran" of anything is attested from 1837. In reference to women perceived as tough, by 1921.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper