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one-horse (comparative more one-horse, superlative most one-horse)

  1. Drawn or worked by a single horse.
    • 1839, British Farmer's Magazine - Volume 3, page 84:
      He constructed a one-horse plough for me about two years ago, which only weighs 581b., for planting potatoes.
    • 1857, James Lord Pierpont, One Horse Open Sleigh (Jingle Bells):
      Oh what fun it is to ride in a one-horse open sleigh!
    • 2013, Theodore Rosengarten, All God's Dangers:
      Come to the wagon business I may have a pole put in front of that one-horse wagon and hitch em both to it.
  2. (by extension) Small, insignificant.
    • 1871, The Catholic Record - Volumes 1-2, page 47:
      Let us have no one-horse candidate for the Presidency. General Grant is the man.
    • 1922, James Joyce, Ulysses:
      A Nestor may reappear as an elderly pedagogue, a Circe as the "Madam" of a one-horse brothel.
    • 2014, James A. Michener, A. Grove Day, Rascals in Paradise, page 132:
      The Great Powers never think of us as a one-horse state.
    • 2016, Fanny Fern, Folly as It Flies, page 112:
      Going from its one-horse hotel, to the model hotel of Philadelphia, was almost too sudden a change even for my excellent constitution.