• Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
    • Herse A funeral ceremonial.
    • Herse (Fort) A kind of gate or portcullis, having iron bars, like a harrow, studded with iron spikes. It is hung above gateways so that it may be quickly lowered, to impede the advance of an enemy.
    • v. t Herse Same as Hearse v. t.
    • Herse See Hearse, a carriage for the dead.
    • ***
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • n herse An obsolete spelling of hearse in various senses.
    • n herse A framework, composed of bars or rods, and used for any purpose; a grating.
    • n herse In fortification, specifically— A portcullis.
    • n herse A frame armed with spikes, used for chevauxde-frise, and laid in the way or in breaches, with the points up, to prevent or obstruct the advance of an enemy.
    • n herse In heraldry, a charge resembling a harrow, and blazoned herse or harrow indifferently.
    • herse An obsolete variant of hearse.
    • n herse A genus of sphingid moths.
    • n herse A genus of birds. The common white-bellied swallow of the United States is sometimes known as Herse bicolor. R. P. Lesson, 1837.
    • n herse A genus of crustaceans.
    • n herse A genus of mollusks.
    • ***
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • n Herse hėrs (fort.) a portcullis: a species of cheval-de-frise
    • ***


Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
F. herse, harrow, portcullis, OF. herce, LL. hercia, L. hirpex, gen. hirpicis, and irpex, gen. irpicis, harrow. The LL. hercia, signifies also a kind of candlestick in the form of a harrow, having branches filled with lights, and placed at the head of graves or cenotaphs; whence herse, came to be used for the grave, coffin, or chest containing the dead. Cf. Hearse
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary


In literature:

Colonel Samuel Shrimpton was buried "with Arms" in 1697, "Ten Companies, No Herse nor Trumpet but a horse Led.
"Customs and Fashions in Old New England" by Alice Morse Earle
The first, which was the Prince's battle, the archers there stood in manner of a herse and the men of arms in the bottom of the battle.
"The Best of the World's Classics, Restricted to Prose, Vol. VII (of X)--Continental Europe I" by Various
I never did hold with a woman killin' herse'f with hard work.
"Judith of the Cumberlands" by Alice MacGowan
Mercury's love for Herse.
"The Metamorphoses of Publius Ovidus Naso in English blank verse Vols. I & II" by Ovid
Run 'long befoh Aunt Timmie make a fool of herse'f.
"Sunlight Patch" by Credo Fitch Harris
Go to bed, Herse; go to bed.
"Tales from the German" by Various
I see her comin' down de road totin' a big ban'box, an' a carpet bag mos 's big 's herse'f.
"International Short Stories" by Various
But anyhow she tinks a lot de most o' herse'f, an' she gets dat mad wid him for bein' had so silly dat she cahnt stand it nohow.
"Old Hendrik's Tales" by Arthur Owen Vaughan
Dat ole woman admits dat fack herse'f.
"The Ten-foot Chain" by Achmed Abdullah
The first, which was the Prince's battle, the archers there stood in manner of a herse and the men of arms in the bottom of the battle.
"Library of the World's Best Literature, Ancient and Modern, Vol. 15" by Various

In poetry:

And Eloisa's long despair;
The garland bless'd with many a vow,
For haughty Sacharissa's brow;
And wash'd with tears the mournful verse
That Petrarch laid on Laura's herse.
"The Origin Of Song Writing" by Anna Laetitia Aikin Barbauld
Man, ere he is aware,
Hath put together a solemnitie,
And drest his herse, while he has breath
As yet to spare;
Yet, Lord, instruct us so to die,
That all these dyings may be LIFE in DEATH.
"Mortification" by George Herbert
Why then thy flowing sable Stoles,
Deep pendent Cypress, mourning Poles,
Loose Scarfs to fall athwart thy Weeds,
Long Palls, drawn Herses, cover'd Steeds,
And Plumes of black, that as they tread,
Nod o'er the 'Scutcheons of the Dead?
"A Night-Piece On Death" by Thomas Parnell
Hooraw for de black horse trotter! hooraw for de feller drive!
An' wan leetle cheer for Belzemire dat’s kipin' herse'f alive
Till Johnnie is bring de doctor, an' carry heem on de door
An' loosen heem out as sober as never he was before.
"Doctor Hilaire" by William Henry Drummond
Yet sad Melpomine rejoyceth not,
Nor ought but imprecations 'stows upon her,
She saith her beauty is to her a blot,
Whose so much goodness robs them of their honor,
Help then Melpomine with thy sad verse,
To tell her fate, and houl upon her Herse.
"Arcadius and Sepha" by William Bosworth