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high horse

a haughty attitude or temper; a contemptuous manner.
Origin of high horse
late Middle English
1375-1425; late Middle English Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2016.
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Examples from the Web for high-horse
Historical Examples
  • You wouldn't come off of your high-horse for anything, would you?

    From the Housetops George Barr McCutcheon
  • But she was foolish to get on her 'high-horse' and turn down my proposition.

    El Diablo Brayton Norton
  • If she'd come off her high-horse the old man might leave a wad to Donnie.

    The Long Dim Trail Forrestine C. Hooker
  • Then he got on his high-horse and told me to shut up or he would knock me down.

    The Mystery at Putnam Hall Arthur M. Winfield
  • Hugh was on his high-horse, and full of historic reminiscences.

  • The effect I desired was obtained, for he at once fell from his high-horse and became a child again.

    Dracula Bram Stoker
Word Origin and History for high-horse

high horse


originally (late 14c.) "fine, tall horse; war horse, charger" (high steed is from c.1300), also, like high hall, "status symbol;" figurative sense of "airs, easily wounded dignity" in mount (one's) high horse "affect airs of superiority" is from 1782 (Addison has to ride the great horse in the same sense, 1716). Cf. French monter sur ses grands chevaux; "The simile is common to most languages" [Farmer].

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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high-horse in Culture

high horse definition

To be on one's “high horse” is to be disdainful or conceited: “Sally got tired of Peter's snobbery and finally told him to get off his high horse.”

The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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Slang definitions & phrases for high-horse
The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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Idioms and Phrases with high-horse

high horse

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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