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See also: horse shoe



English Wikipedia has an article on:
English Wikipedia has an article on:
A metal horseshoe (1)
Calks (identified by the letter "C" on the shown horseshoe) consist of spur-point and a shank to form an antislipping device.

From Middle English horsscho, horssho, horscho, hors schoo, equivalent to horse +‎ shoe.


  • (Received Pronunciation) IPA(key): /ˈhɔːs.ʃuː/, (colloquial) /ˈhɔː.ʃuː/
  • (US) IPA(key): /ˈhɔːɹs.ʃuː/, /ˈhɔːɹ.ʃuː/
  • (file)
  • (file)


horseshoe (plural horseshoes)

  1. The U-shaped shoe of a horse, now typically made of metal; by extension, a representation of this used to play the game horseshoes, hung as a luck charm, etc.
    • 1887, David A. Wells, "The Economic Disturbances since 1873", III, Popular Science 31 (no. 37): 595
      And what has been thus affirmed of other leading commodities; the blacksmith, for example, no longer making, but buying his horseshoes, nails, nuts, and bolts;
    • 1984, Leda Blumberg, The Horselover's Handbook: An Introduction to Owning, Caring For, and Riding Horses, →ISBN, page 46:
      The ancient Romans [...] used leather horseshoes; the Chinese made straw sandals for their mounts; and American Indians used leather moccasins, which they tied around their horses ' ankles. In days of old, people took their horses to the smithy to be shod.
    • 1997, Francis Edward Abernethy, editor, Texas toys and games, page 142:
      Each player has a turn at tossing his horseshoes, one at a time, at the stob opposite him. His opponent then throws his horseshoes.
  2. The U shape of a horseshoe.
    • 2005, Stuart H. James, Jon J. Nordby (editors), Forensic science: an introduction to scientific and investigative techniques, page 88:
      If there are no missing teeth and tooth alignment is good, two opposing well-defined horseshoes are seen. If, however, your denitition is mal-aligned or is missing anterior teeth, this pattern too should be reflected in the bite mark.
    • 2021 October 20, Paul Stephen, “Leisure and pleasure on the Far North Line”, in RAIL, number 942, page 49:
      Whereas the railway heads inland to take the easier but much longer horseshoe-shaped route around the firth, the A9 directly crosses it from north to south on a bridge built in 1991.
  3. (bodybuilding, slang) A well-developed set of triceps brachii muscles.
    • 2004, Ellington Darden, The New High-Intensity Training, page 58:
      The lateral head of your triceps forms the outside of the horseshoe, the long head forms the inside, the medial head lies beneath the long head, and the tendon occupies the flat space in the middle.
  4. (logic) The symbol .
  5. (Midland US) An open-faced sandwich originating from Springfield, Illinois, consisting of thick-sliced toasted bread, often Texas toast, a hamburger patty, French fries, and a cheese sauce.

Derived terms[edit]



horseshoe (third-person singular simple present horseshoes, present participle horseshoeing, simple past and past participle horseshoed or horseshod)

  1. To apply horseshoes to (a horse).

Usage notes[edit]

The shorter form shoe is more commonly used.


  • (to apply horseshoes): shoe


See also[edit]