[ wurk-hawrs ]
/ ˈwɜrkˌhɔrs /


a horse used for plowing, hauling, and other heavy labor, as distinguished from a riding horse, racehorse, etc.
a person who works tirelessly at a task, assumes extra duties, etc.

Origin of workhorse

First recorded in 1535–45; work + horse Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for workhorse

British Dictionary definitions for workhorse


/ (ˈwɜːkˌhɔːs) /


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

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper