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workhorse

[wurk-hawrs] /ˈwɜrkˌhɔrs/
noun
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.
Origin
1535-1545
1535-45; work + horse
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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British Dictionary definitions for workhorses

workhorse

/ˈwɜːkˌhɔːs/
noun
1.
a horse used for nonrecreational activities
2.
(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
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Word Origin and History for workhorses

workhorse

n.

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

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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