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Related to postillion: titanic, postilions


also pos·til·lion  (pō-stĭl′yən, pŏ-)
One who rides the near horse of the leaders to guide the horses drawing a coach.

[French postillon, from Italian postiglione, from posta, mail, from Old Italian, mail station; see post3.]
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.


One who rides the near horse of a team in order to guide the team. Such riders were found on teams hauling artillery and were sometimes used by the wealthy to guide their coach teams, but were not used in conjunction with farm implements. Sometimes a small boy would ride one horse of a team when doing something like harrowing, but in general, the implements themselves required attention while being pulled so the operator did the double duty of operating the equipment and guiding the team. Also, while a harnessed horse would generally tolerate a rider, workhorses were not necessarily broken for riding, and trying to ride an unharnessed plow horse could be disastrous.
1001 Words and Phrases You Never Knew You Didn’t Know by W.R. Runyan Copyright © 2011 by W.R. Runyan
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.Postillion - someone who rides the near horse of a pair in order to guide the horses pulling a carriage (especially a carriage without a coachman)postillion - someone who rides the near horse of a pair in order to guide the horses pulling a carriage (especially a carriage without a coachman)
equestrian, horseback rider, horseman - a man skilled in equitation
Based on WordNet 3.0, Farlex clipart collection. © 2003-2012 Princeton University, Farlex Inc.
References in classic literature ?
'Halloa!' cried the doctor, letting down the front glass in a great hurry, and shouting to the postillion; 'something very short of flyng will keep pace with me.
He had given instructions to his bailiff to send the postillion carriage on to Southampton, to be ready for their journey home, and to arrange for relays of his own horses to be sent on at once.
In their fear, silence fell upon them, and a postillion, in the guise of a demon, passed in front of them, blowing, in lieu of a bugle, a huge hollow horn that gave out a horrible hoarse note.
On those occasions, when a servant had given me notice, my custom was to go immediately to the door, and, after paying my respects, to take up the coach and two horses very carefully in my hands (for, if there were six horses, the postillion always unharnessed four,) and place them on a table, where I had fixed a movable rim quite round, of five inches high, to prevent accidents.
D'Artagnan and Planchet took each a post horse, and a postillion rode before them.
If I carry you out, you shall travel like a duchess.' 'Hum,' says I, 'my dear, 'tis a frolic; but if you have a mind to it, I don't care.' Well, the time was appointed, we had a rich coach, very good horses, a coachman, postillion, and two footmen in very good liveries; a gentleman on horseback, and a page with a feather in his hat upon another horse.
Jingle, completely coated with mud thrown up by the wheels, was plainly discernible at the window of his chaise; and the motion of his arm, which was waving violently towards the postillions, denoted that he was encouraging them to increased exertion.
The postillions, each with a broad grin convulsing his countenance, were viewing the adverse party from their saddles, and Mr.
The postillions resumed their proper attitudes, and away rattled the chaise, Mr.
(17) Samuel Taylor Coleridge had considered the problem in the early nineteenth century in his Philosophical Lectures, when he cited the phenomenon of the rise of humanism in the face of barbarism in pre-Renaissance culture:" In the age of Kepler and a Galileo, when every department of human intellect was felt and supported in greatest splendour,--it was then that the dreadful contagion of witchcraft and persecution of witches raged, not in one country but passed like a postillion through all Europe...." Well, Coleridge asked rhetorically, what to do about it?:" It is not by learning merely, no ...