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.

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]
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"!
he said, in a voice as remarkable for the softness and sweetness of its tones, as was his person for its rare proportions; "I may speak of these things, and be no braggart; for I have been down at both havens; that which is situate at the mouth of Thames, and is named after the capital of Old England, and that which is called 'Haven', with the addition of the word'New'; and have seen the scows and brigantines collecting their droves, like the gathering to the ark, being outward bound to the Island of Jamaica, for the purpose of barter and traffic in four-footed animals; but never before have I beheld a beast which verified the true scripture war-horse like this: 'He paweth in the valley, and rejoiceth in his strength; he goeth on to meet the armed men.
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.
He snuffs the battle from afar, like the war-horse.
He rode, not a mule, like his companion, but a strong hackney for the road, to save his gallant war-horse, which a squire led behind, fully accoutred for battle, with a chamfrom or plaited head-piece upon his bead, having a short spike projecting from the front.
And shouting horsemen are galloping from group to group, and little banners are fluttering lazily in the warm breeze, and every now and then there is a deeper stir as the ranks make way on either side, and some great Baron on his war-horse, with his guard of squires around him, passes along to take his station at the head of his serfs and vassals.