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A mare and colt.


From Middle English colt, from Old English colt (young donkey, young camel), from Proto-Germanic *kultaz (plump; stump; thick shape, bulb), from Proto-Indo-European *gelt- (something round, pregnant belly, child in the womb), from *gel- (to ball up, amass). Cognate with Norwegian kult (treestump), Swedish kult (young boar, boy, lad). Related to child.



colt (plural colts)

  1. A young male horse.
  2. A youthful or inexperienced person; a novice.
    • 1594, William Shakespeare, The Merchant of Venice, I. ii. 38:
      Ay, that's a colt indeed, for he doth nothing but / talk of his horse, and he makes it a great appropriation to / his own good parts that he can shoe him himself.
  3. (nautical) A short piece of rope once used by petty officers as an instrument of punishment.

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colt (third-person singular simple present colts, present participle colting, simple past and past participle colted)

  1. (obsolete, transitive) To horse; to get with young.
  2. (obsolete, transitive) To befool.
  3. To frisk or frolic like a colt; to act licentiously or wantonly.
    • Spenser
      They shook off their bridles and began to colt.

Part or all of this entry has been imported from the 1913 edition of Webster’s Dictionary, which is now free of copyright and hence in the public domain. The imported definitions may be significantly out of date, and any more recent senses may be completely missing.