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See more synonyms for workhorse on Thesaurus.com
  1. a horse used for plowing, hauling, and other heavy labor, as distinguished from a riding horse, racehorse, etc.
  2. a person who works tirelessly at a task, assumes extra duties, etc.
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Origin of workhorse

First recorded in 1535–45; work + horse
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for workhorse

laborer, servant, worker, serf, captive, victim, drudge, chattel, help, toiler, vassal, thrall, retainer, peon, menial, workhorse, skivvy, slave, doer, pistol

Examples from the Web for workhorse

Contemporary Examples of workhorse

Historical Examples of workhorse

British Dictionary definitions for workhorse


  1. a horse used for nonrecreational activities
  2. informal a person who takes on the greatest amount of work in a project or job
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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

Word Origin and History for workhorse


1540s, from work (n.) + horse (n.). Figurative use by 1949.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper