• synonyms

wheel horse

or wheel-horse

  1. Also called wheeler. a horse, or one of the horses, harnessed behind others and nearest the front wheels of a vehicle.
  2. Chiefly South Atlantic States. the left-hand horse of a pair hitched to a wagon or plow.
  3. Chiefly South Midland and Southern U.S. a reliable, diligent, and strong worker.
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Origin of wheel horse

First recorded in 1700–10
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for wheel horse

Historical Examples

  • He was instantly met and borne to the snow by Bones, the second “wheel-horse.”

    On the Yukon Trail

    Roy J. Snell

  • As a leader he was fine; as a wheel-horse, he was not always just to himself.

  • Garrett one day, "every church has to have a wheel-horse, and I might as well be the wheel-horse as any body."

  • One gun upset when a wheel-horse was shot, and had to be abandoned, together with a waggon, the horses of which were killed.

  • Had the other wheel-horse not been as steady as a rock, we would have gone right over.

British Dictionary definitions for wheel horse

wheel horse

  1. another word for wheeler (def. 1)
  2. US and Canadian a person who works steadily or hard
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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