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hobbyhorse

[hob-ee-hawrs] /ˈhɒb iˌhɔrs/
noun
1.
a stick with a horse's head, or a rocking horse, ridden by children.
2.
a figure of a horse, attached at the waist of a performer in a morris dance, pantomime, etc.
3.
a pet idea or project.
Origin
1550-1560
1550-60; hobby1 + horse
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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British Dictionary definitions for hobby-horse

hobbyhorse

/ˈhɒbɪˌhɔːs/
noun
1.
a toy consisting of a stick with a figure of a horse's head at one end
2.
another word for rocking horse
3.
a figure of a horse attached to a performer's waist in a pantomime, morris dance, etc
4.
a favourite topic or obsessive fixed idea (esp in the phrase on one's hobbyhorse)
verb
5.
(intransitive) (nautical) (of a vessel) to pitch violently
Word Origin
C16: from hobby1, originally a small horse, hence sense 3; then generalized to apply to any pastime
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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15
15
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