war-horse


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war·horse

also war-horse  (wôr′hôrs′)
n.
1. A horse used in combat; a charger.
2. Informal A person who has been through many battles, struggles, or difficult experiences.
3. Informal A musical or dramatic work that has been performed so often that it has become widely familiar.
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.

war′-horse`



n.
1. a horse used in war; charger.
2. Informal. a veteran of many conflicts, as a soldier or politician.
3. Informal. a musical composition, play, etc., that has been seen, heard, or performed excessively.
[1645–55]
Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in classic literature ?
HAVING heard that the State was about to be invaded by a hostile army, a War-horse belonging to a Colonel of the Militia offered his services to a passing Miller.
Then feed us and break us and handle and groom, And give us good riders and plenty of room, And launch us in column of squadron and see The way of the war-horse to "Bonnie Dundee"!
The simple admirer of the war-horse instantly fell back to a low, gaunt, switch-tailed mare, that was unconsciously gleaning the faded herbage of the camp nigh by; where, leaning with one elbow on the blanket that concealed an apology for a saddle, he became a spectator of the departure, while a foal was quietly making its morning repast, on the opposite side of the same animal.
Through the late autumn and the early winter every road and country lane resounded with nakir and trumpet, with the neigh of the war-horse and the clatter of marching men.
who didst not refuse to the swart convict, Bunyan, the pale, poetic pearl; Thou who didst clothe with doubly hammered leaves of finest gold, the stumped and paupered arm of old Cervantes; Thou who didst pick up Andrew Jackson from the pebbles; who didst hurl him upon a war-horse; who didst thunder him higher than a throne!
He snuffs the battle from afar, like the war-horse. He throws his hat up in the street as if he were inspired, and makes most stirring speeches from the shoulders of his friends.'