one of the bony, permanent, hollow paired growths, often curved and pointed, that project from the upper part of the head of certain ungulate mammals, as cattle, sheep, goats, or antelopes.
a similar growth, sometimes of hair, as the median horn or horns on the snout of the rhinoceros, or the tusk of the narwhal.
a process projecting from the head of an animal and suggestive of such a growth, as a feeler, tentacle, or crest.
the bony substance of which such animal growths are composed.
any similar substance, as that forming tortoise shell, hoofs, nails, or corns.
an article made of the material of an animal horn or like substance, as a thimble, spoon, or shoehorn.
any projection or extremity resembling the horn of an animal.
something resembling or suggesting an animal horn:
a drinking horn.
a part resembling an animal horn attributed to deities, demons, etc.:
the devil’s horn.
Usually, horns. the imaginary projections on a cuckold’s brow.
something used as or resembling such a wind instrument.
Slang. a trumpet.
an instrument for sounding a warning signal:
an automobile horn.
Aeronautics. any of certain short, armlike levers on the control surfaces of an airplane.
Slang. a telephone or radiotelephone:
I’ve been on the horn all morning.
the high protuberant part at the front and top of certain saddles; a pommel, especially a high one.
Carpentry. (in a door or window frame) that part of a jamb extending above the head.
one of the curved extremities of a crescent, especially of the crescent moon.
a crescent-shaped tract of land.
a pyramidal mountain peak, especially one having concave faces carved by glaciation.
a symbol of power or strength, as in the Bible:
a horn of salvation.
each of the alternatives of a dilemma.
the narrow, more pointed part of an anvil.
Metalworking. a projection at the side of the end of a rolled sheet or strip, caused by unevenness of the roll due to wear.
Horology. (in a lever escapement) either of the two prongs at the end of the lever fork guarding against overbanking when the guard pin is in the crescent.
verb (used with object)
to butt or gore with the horns.
Shipbuilding. to set up (a frame or bulkhead of a vessel being built) at a proper angle to the keel with due regard to the inclination of the keel on the ways; plumb.
made of horn.
blow / toot one’s own horn, Informal. to publicize or boast about one’s abilities or achievements:
He’s a bright fellow, but likes to blow his own horn too much.
draw / pull in one’s horns, to restrain oneself or become less belligerent; retreat:
Since he lost so much gambling, he’s drawn in his horns a bit.
horn in, Informal. to thrust oneself forward obtrusively; intrude or interrupt:
Every time we try to have a private conversation, the boss horns in.
lock horns, to conflict, quarrel, or disagree:
The administration and the staff locked horns over the proposed measures.
on the horns of a dilemma, confronted with two equally disagreeable choices.
either of a pair of permanent outgrowths on the heads of cattle, antelopes, sheep, etc, consisting of a central bony core covered with layers of keratin related adjectives corneous keratoid
the outgrowth from the nasal bone of a rhinoceros, consisting of a mass of fused hairs
any hornlike projection or process, such as the eyestalk of a snail
the antler of a deer
a container or device made from this substance or an artificial substitute: a shoe horn, a drinking horn
an object or part resembling a horn in shape, such as the points at either end of a crescent, the point of an anvil, the pommel of a saddle, or a cornucopia
a primitive musical wind instrument made from the horn of an animal
any musical instrument consisting of a pipe or tube of brass fitted with a mouthpiece, with or without valves See hunting horn, French horn, cor anglais
(jazz, slang) any wind instrument
(usually pl) the hornlike projection attributed to certain devils, deities, etc
(usually pl) the imaginary hornlike parts formerly supposed to appear on the forehead of a cuckold
Also called horn balance. an extension of an aircraft control surface that projects in front of the hinge providing aerodynamic assistance in moving the control
(geology) another name for pyramidal peak
a stretch of land or water shaped like a horn
(Brit, slang) an erection of the penis
(Bible) a symbol of power, victory, or success: in my name shall his horn be exalted
(US & Canadian) blow one’s horn, to boast about oneself; brag Brit equivalent blow one’s own trumpet
draw in one’s horns, pull in one’s horns
on the horns of a dilemma
to provide with a horn or horns
to gore or butt with a horn
Cape, See Cape Horn
Old English horn “horn of an animal,” also “wind instrument” (originally made from animal horns), from Proto-Germanic *hurnaz (cf. German Horn, Dutch horen, Gothic haurn), from PIE *ker- “horn; head, uppermost part of the body,” with derivatives refering to horned animals, horn-shaped objects and projecting parts (cf. Greek karnon “horn,” Latin cornu “horn,” Sanskrit srngam “horn,” Persian sar “head,” Avestan sarah- “head,” Greek koryphe “head,” Latin cervus “deer,” Welsh carw “deer”). Reference to car horns is first recorded 1901. Figurative senses of Latin cornu included “salient point, chief argument; wing, flank; power, courage, strength.” Jazz slang sense of “trumpet” is by 1921. Meaning “telephone” is by 1945.
1690s, “to furnish with horns,” from horn (n.). Earlier in figurative sense of “to cuckold” (1540s). Meaning “to push with the horns” (of cattle, buffalo, etc.) is from 1851, American English; phrase horn in “intrude” is by 1880, American English, originally cowboy slang.
grunt-horn, like shit through a tin horn, tinhorn, toot one’s own horn
Trumpets were at first horns perforated at the tip, used for various purposes (Josh. 6:4,5). Flasks or vessels were made of horn (1 Sam. 16:1, 13; 1 Kings 1:39). But the word is used also metaphorically to denote the projecting corners of the altar of burnt offerings (Ex. 27:2) and of incense (30:2). The horns of the altar of burnt offerings were to be smeared with the blood of the slain bullock (29:12; Lev. 4:7-18). The criminal, when his crime was accidental, found an asylum by laying hold of the horns of the altar (1 Kings 1:50; 2:28). The word also denotes the peak or summit of a hill (Isa. 5:1, where the word “hill” is the rendering of the same Hebrew word). This word is used metaphorically also for strength (Deut. 33:17) and honour (Job 16:15; Lam. 2:3). Horns are emblems of power, dominion, glory, and fierceness, as they are the chief means of attack and defence with the animals endowed with them (Dan. 8:5, 9; 1 Sam. 2:1; 16:1, 13; 1 Kings 1:39; 22:11; Josh. 6:4, 5; Ps. 75:5, 10; 132:17; Luke 1:69, etc.). The expression “horn of salvation,” applied to Christ, means a salvation of strength, or a strong Saviour (Luke 1:69). To have the horn “exalted” denotes prosperity and triumph (Ps. 89:17, 24). To “lift up” the horn is to act proudly (Zech. 1:21). Horns are also the symbol of royal dignity and power (Jer. 48:25; Zech. 1:18; Dan. 8:24).
In addition to the idioms beginning with horn
horn in on
[hawr-nit] /ˈhɔr nɪt/ noun 1. any large, stinging paper wasp of the family Vespidae, as Vespa crabro (giant hornet) introduced into the U.S. from Europe, or Vespula maculata (bald-faced hornet or white-faced hornet) of North America. /ˈhɔːnɪt/ noun 1. any of various large social wasps of the family Vespidae, esp Vespa crabro of Europe, that […]
- Hornet clearwing
noun 1. See clearwing
[hawr-nahy] /ˈhɔr naɪ/ noun 1. Karen, 1885–1952, U.S. psychiatrist and author, born in Germany.
[hawrn-felz] /ˈhɔrn fɛlz/ noun 1. a dark, fine-grained metamorphic rock, the result of recrystallization of siliceous or argillaceous sediments by contact metamorphism. /ˈhɔːnfɛlz/ noun 1. a hard compact fine-grained metamorphic rock formed by the action of heat from a magmatic intrusion on neighbouring sedimentary rocks Also called hornstone hornfels (hôrn’fělz’) A fine-grained metamorphic rock having […]