[hawrs-shoo, hawrsh-]
a U -shaped metal plate, plain or with calks, nailed to a horse's hoof to protect it from being injured by hard or rough surfaces.
something U -shaped, as a valley, river bend, or other natural feature: We picnicked in the middle of a horseshoe of trees.
horseshoes, (used with a singular verb) a game in which horseshoes or other U -shaped pieces of metal, plastic, etc., are tossed at an iron stake 30 or 40 feet (9 or 12 meters) away in order to encircle it or to come closer to it than one's opponent.
verb (used with object), horseshoed, horseshoeing.
to put a horseshoe or horseshoes on.
having the shape of a horseshoe; U -shaped: a horseshoe bend in the river.

1350–1400; Middle English. See horse, shoe

horseshoer, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
Cite This Source Link To horseshoe
World English Dictionary
horseshoe (ˈhɔːsˌʃuː)
1.  a piece of iron shaped like a U with the ends curving inwards that is nailed to the underside of the hoof of a horse to protect the soft part of the foot from hard surfaces: commonly thought to be a token of good luck
2.  an object of similar shape
vb , -shoes, -shoeing, -shoed
3.  (tr) to fit with a horseshoe; shoe

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
Cite This Source
Encyclopedia Britannica


U-shaped metal plate by which horses' hooves are protected from wear on hard or rough surfaces. Horseshoes apparently are a Roman invention; a mule's loss of its shoe is mentioned by the Roman poet Catullus in the 1st century BC.

Learn more about horseshoe with a free trial on

Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
Cite This Source
Example sentences
The tasters sit in clusters of three around tables arranged in horseshoe shape.
Follow the arc of that horseshoe and the cliffs peer over you all the way,
  forbidding and beckoning at once.
Some paleontologists even suggested that they were from the shell of a creature
  resembling a horseshoe crab.
It yielded--as the sun sank lower and a touch of cool began to pervade the airy
Copyright © 2014, LLC. All rights reserved.
  • Please Login or Sign Up to use the Recent Searches feature