• "Horn" sign. Neapolitan
    "Horn" sign. Neapolitan
  • WordNet 3.6
    • v horn stab or pierce with a horn or tusk "the rhino horned the explorer"
    • n horn one of the bony outgrowths on the heads of certain ungulates
    • n horn any hard protuberance from the head of an organism that is similar to or suggestive of a horn
    • n horn a device on an automobile for making a warning noise
    • n horn a brass musical instrument with a brilliant tone; has a narrow tube and a flared bell and is played by means of valves
    • n horn a brass musical instrument consisting of a conical tube that is coiled into a spiral and played by means of valves
    • n horn an alarm device that makes a loud warning sound
    • n horn a high pommel of a Western saddle (usually metal covered with leather)
    • n horn a noisemaker (as at parties or games) that makes a loud noise when you blow through it
    • n horn a device having the shape of a horn "horns at the ends of a new moon","the hornof an anvil","the cleat had two horns"
    • n horn a noise made by the driver of an automobile to give warning;
    • n horn the material (mostly keratin) that covers the horns of ungulates and forms hooves and claws and nails
    • ***

Additional illustrations & photos:

Dad's Pants Stayed on the Bull's Horns 349 Dad's Pants Stayed on the Bull's Horns 349
The Princess Finds Horns on her Head The Princess Finds Horns on her Head
GREAT HORNED OWL Rabbits constitute a favorite food when available. Poultry and other birds are also destroyed by this owl. Range: Eastern North America GREAT HORNED OWL Rabbits constitute a favorite food when available. Poultry and other birds are also destroyed by...
Woman with horn Woman with horn
Boy Blue & Horn Boy Blue & Horn
Skulls of Horned Dinosaurs Skulls of Horned Dinosaurs
M. Aubourg fils plays his horn M. Aubourg fils plays his horn

Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
  • Interesting fact: The difference between horns and antlers is that horns never stop growing and antlers shed and grow every year
    • Horn a body of water shaped like a horn; as, the Golden Horn in Istanbul.
    • Horn A curved projection on the fore part of a plane.
    • Horn A drinking cup, or beaker, as having been originally made of the horns of cattle.
    • Horn A hard, projecting, and usually pointed organ, growing upon the heads of certain animals, esp. of the ruminants, as cattle, goats, and the like. The hollow horns of the Ox family consist externally of true horn, and are never shed.
    • Horn (Zoöl) A hornlike projection from the head or thorax of an insect, or the head of a reptile, or fish.
    • Horn (Zoöl) A projection from the beak of a bird, as in the hornbill.
    • Horn (Zoöl) A sharp spine in front of the fins of a fish, as in the horned pout.
    • Horn (Script) A symbol of strength, power, glory, exaltation, or pride. "The Lord is . . . the horn of my salvation."
    • Horn (Zoöl) A tuft of feathers on the head of a bird, as in the horned owl.
    • Horn A vessel made of a horn; esp., one designed for containing powder; anciently, a small vessel for carrying liquids.
    • Horn A wind instrument of music; originally, one made of a horn (of an ox or a ram); now applied to various elaborately wrought instruments of brass or other metal, resembling a horn in shape.
    • Horn An emblem of a cuckold; -- used chiefly in the plural. "Thicker than a cuckold's horn ."
    • Horn (Bot) An incurved, tapering and pointed appendage found in the flowers of the milkweed (Asclepias).
    • Horn Any natural projection or excrescence from an animal, resembling or thought to resemble a horn in substance or form;
    • Horn One of the curved ends of a crescent; esp., an extremity or cusp of the moon when crescent-shaped. "The moon
      Wears a wan circle round her blunted horns ."
    • Horn One of the projections at the four corners of the Jewish altar of burnt offering.
    • Horn Something made of a horn, or in resemblance of a horn
    • Horn the telephone; as, on the horn .
    • Horn The antler of a deer, which is of bone throughout, and annually shed and renewed.
    • Horn The cornucopia, or horn of plenty.
    • Horn (Mil) The curving extremity of the wing of an army or of a squadron drawn up in a crescentlike form. "Sharpening in mooned horns Their phalanx."
    • Horn The high pommel of a saddle; also, either of the projections on a lady's saddle for supporting the leg.
    • Horn The Ionic volute.
    • Horn The outer end of a crosstree; also, one of the projections forming the jaws of a gaff, boom, etc.
    • Horn The pointed beak of an anvil.
    • Horn The tough, fibrous material of which true horns are composed, being, in the Ox family, chiefly albuminous, with some phosphate of lime; also, any similar substance, as that which forms the hoof crust of horses, sheep, and cattle; as, a spoon of horn .
    • Horn To cause to wear horns; to cuckold.
    • Horn To furnish with horns; to give the shape of a horn to.
    • ***
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
  • Interesting fact: Found in Argentina, the ornate horned frog can eat an entire mouse with one swallow
    • n horn An excrescent growth upon the head in certain animals, serving as a weapon of offense or defense. See def. 3. The horns of cattle, sheep, and goats are familiar examples. Such horns, technically called cornua cava or hollow horns, are permanent or non-deciduous; they always grow upon the head, and are hollow, being formed upon a solid core of true bone. They are usually in one pair, right and left; sometimes in two pairs, and in some fossil animals even in three. There may also be but one, as in some rhinoceroses, or there may be two placed one behind the other, as in others. True horns are distinguished from antlers by being hollow, permanent, and unbranched (except in the pronghorn antelope). They occur usually in both sexes. See Cavicornia, cornu.
    • n horn An antler of a deer. Antlers are not true horns, but are bony, solid, and deciduous, and are for the most part confined to the male sex. They are technically called cornua solida or cornua decidua (that is, solid or deciduous horns). See antler.
    • n horn Hardened and thickened epidermis or cuticle, as that of which nails, claws, and hoofs consist, differing from hair or other cuticular structures chiefly in density and massiveness. The character of horn as a cuticular outgrowth or appendage is well illustrated in the pronghorn antelope, in which the transition from a mass of agglutinated hairs covering a bony core of the frontal bone to hard horny substance at the tip is very gradual and readily observed. The thickened skin of the human heel is horn, and similar special thickenings are called corns. Tortoise-shell is another kind of horn, as are also the hard covering of the beak and feet of birds, the scales of reptiles, etc. Horn in this sense is related to bone or cartilage only in that it belongs to the same general group of connective tissues.
    • n horn Something made of horn, or like or likened to a horn in position, shape, use, or purpose.
    • n horn Specifically— A feeler; a tentacle; an antenna; an ovipositor; also, the tuft of feathers upon the head of sundry birds, resembling a horn; a plumicorn, as that of various owls.
    • n horn A wind-instrument more or less resembling a horn in shape and size, and originally made of horn: as, a hunting-horn; a tin horn. In the simpler forms the horn is used chiefly to give signals, producing single or slightly variable loud tones. The hunting-horn, however, was early elaborated and made capable of producing a variety of calls, fanfares, and simple tnnes. Wood, ivory, and various metals have been used for making horns.
    • n horn By extension, a musical wind-instrnment of the trumpet class, developed from the hunting-horn (previously modified for use in orchestras under the name corno di caccia), and distinctively called the French horn, having a slender tube of brass or silver, several feet long, gracefully curved upon itself, terminating in a flaring bell, and blown through a mouthpiece of conoidal bore. Its tones are harmonics of the natural tone of the tube, produced by slightly varying the method and pressure of the blowing. Its compass is about four octaves, the series of tones in the two upper octaves being diatonic and partially chromatic. In addition to these primary or open tones, modified or closed tones are produced by inserting the hand into the bell, so as to alter the pitch of an open tone chromatically. The pitch of the fundamental tone, and thus of the whole series of open tones, is altered by detachable crooks, which increase the actual length of the tube. From eight to twelve such crooks are made, pitching the instrument in nearly all the chromatic keys between the second C below middle C and the second Bb below that. The key in which the instrnment is to be set is indicated at the beginning of each piece; but the music is written in the key of C. The pitch of the tube is still further affected by the tuning-slide, which is one of the curves of the tube so arranged that it can be pushed in or out at will. Ventils or valves are sometimes added to the tube to facilitate rapid passages. Horns are the most valuable orchestral instruments of their class. Their tone is mellow, pervasive, and blending, with a peculiar romantic quality. The French horn is sometimes used singly or as a solo instrument, but in orchestras it is nearly always combined in pairs or in quartets, and used both for melodic effects, especially in fanfares and similar figures, and for sustained chords as a harmonic basis for free instrumentation.
    • n horn A drinking-vessel of the shape of a horn or made of a horn. See drinking-horn.
    • n horn A long projection, frequently of silver or gold, worn on the forehead by natives of some Asiatic countries.
    • n horn One of the extremities (cnsps) of the moon when waxing and waning, and hence of any crescent-shaped object.
    • n horn The horn of a cow or other animal, or, now, any similar case or fiask, used for holding gunpowder; a powderhorn or powder-flask.
    • n horn plural A head-dress worn during the first half of the fifteenth century, the general shape of which was that of a pair of horns spreading like those of an ox. These head-dresses consisted of stuffs embroidered and set with jewels, or of nets (compare crespine) by which the hair was entirely or almost entirely concealed, a veil covering the whole.
    • n horn A projecting part of a head-dress, especially of that of women in the fourteenth century.
    • n horn (J) Eccles., either of the corners or angles made by the front and ends of an altar. In Christian churches, that at the left of the priest when facing the altar is the gospel horn; that at his right, the epistle horn.
    • n horn In the Bible, a symbol of strength, power, or glory.
    • n horn In railroad-cars, a part rigidly fastened to the coupler or draw-bar, by means of which the coupler and buffer-springs are connected.
    • n horn Either of two projections on a side-saddle, serving to support the right leg.
    • n horn The beak of an anvil.
    • n horn A branch of a subdivided stream.
    • n horn Nautical, one of the ends of the crosstrees.
    • n horn One of the alternatives of a dilemma. See dilemma, 1.
    • n horn The imaginary projection on the brow of a cuckold.
    • n horn In botany, any process or appendage which is shaped somewhat like the horn of an animal, as the spur of the petals in Linaria, or the crest borne by the hoods in Asclepias.
    • n horn A draught of strong liquor: as, to take a horn. See def. 4 .
    • n horn In architecture, the Ionic volute.
    • horn To furnish with horns.
    • horn To cause to wear “horns” as the mark of a cuckold; cuckold.
    • horn To give the shape of a horn to.
    • horn To treat to a charivari, or mock serenade of tin horns, etc. See horning, 2.
    • horn To adjust (the frames of a ship) in process of construction so that they shall be exactly at right angles with the line of the keel.
    • n horn In sheet-metal work, an attachment to a press which, in its most simple form, resembles the horn of an anvil. In seaming and pressing locked sheets of tin together it serves as the anvil on which the joined sheets are laid while the press bends the seams down. It gives name to the work of horning, or seaming with a horn, and to the horning-press, a press on which horning is done.
    • n horn In organ-building, a reed-stop with a tone like that of the French horn.
    • n horn In golf, same as bone, 10.
    • n horn The bare branch of a leafless tree. [Figurative.]
    • n horn One of the branches of the V-shaped comb found in such breeds of poultry as the Polish and La Flèeche.
    • n horn In archery: The tip at each end of a bow, usually made of horn and provided with a nock for fastening the bowstring.
    • n horn A reinforcement at the butt of an arrow, fitted with a nock to receive the bowstring: usually made of horn.
    • n horn The portion of a composite bow which is made of horn: see bow, 2.
    • n horn In machinery, a curved lever, pivoted on the side of a planing-machine, which, on being knocked over by the tappets on the moving table, gives, through a linkage, the reversing movement to the driving mechanism.
    • horn To operate upon by means of a horn-press or horning-press. See horn, n., 4 .
    • ***
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
  • Interesting fact: Most American car horns honk in the key of F
    • n Horn horn the hard substance projecting from the heads of certain animals, as oxen, &c.: something made of or like a horn, as a powder-horn, a drinking-horn: a symbol of strength:
    • v.t Horn to furnish with horns
    • n Horn horn (mus.) a hunting-horn: an orchestral wind-instrument of the trumpet class, with a slender twisted brass tube and bell mouth—also distinctively French horn
    • ***


  • H. L. Mencken
    “Life is a constant oscillation between the sharp horns of dilemmas.”
  • Josh Billings
    “Don't take the bull by the horns, take him by the tail; then you can let go when you want to.”
  • Gerard De Nerval
    Gerard De Nerval
    “Our dreams are a second life. I have never been able to penetrate without a shudder those ivory or horned gates which separate us from the invisible world.”
  • Henry Morgan
    Henry Morgan
    “A careful driver is one who honks his horn when he goes through a red light.”
  • Ezra Pound
    “'Tis the white stag, Fame, we're a-hunting, bid the world's hounds come to horn!”
  • Desiderius Erasmus
    “They take unbelievable pleasure in the hideous blast of the hunting horn and baying of the hounds. Dogs dung smells sweet as cinnamon to them.”


Blow your own horn - If you blow your own horn, you boast about your achievements and abilities. ('Blow your own trumpet' is an alternative form.)
Grab the bull by its horns - If you grab (take) the bull by its horns, you deal head-on and directly with a problem.
Horns of a dilemma - If you are on the horns of a dilemma, you are faced with two equally unpleasant options and have to choose one.
Lock horns - When people lock horns, they argue or fight about something.
Mess with a bull, you get the horns - If you do something stupid or dangerous, you can get hurt.
Take the bull by its horns - Taking a bull by its horns would be the most direct but also the most dangerous way to try to compete with such an animal. When we use the phrase in everyday talk, we mean that the person we are talking about tackles their problems directly and is not worried about any risks involved.
Toot you own horn - If someone toot their own horn, they like to boast about their achievements.


Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
AS. horn,; akin to D. horen, hoorn, G., Icel., Sw., & Dan. horn, Goth. haúrn, W., Gael., & Ir. corn, L. cornu, Gr. ke`ras, and perh. also to E. cheer, cranium, cerebral,; cf. Skr. çiras, head. Cf. Carat Corn on the foot, Cornea Corner Cornet Cornucopia Hart
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
A.S. horn; Scand. and Ger. horn, Gael. and W. corn, L. cornu, Gr. keras.


In literature:

Early next day the sleeping morning was awakened by the sound of a horn.
"The Manxman A Novel - 1895" by Hall Caine
The Englishman had taken off his belt, bullet pouch and powder horn, all of which now lay on the ground near him.
"The Keepers of the Trail" by Joseph A. Altsheler
To throw the breast backstays out of the cross-tree horns or out-riggers and bear them aft.
"The Sailor's Word-Book" by William Henry Smyth
Now you can work all round the horn to join the cut at the back.
"Practical Taxidermy" by Montagu Browne
In my horns, {I say}, so long as I could.
"The Metamorphoses of Ovid" by Publius Ovidius Naso
A horn spoon hauds nae poison.
"The Proverbs of Scotland" by Alexander Hislop
The animal snorted again, and lowered his horns.
"Dave Porter and His Rivals" by Edward Stratemeyer
The next day Peter brought her a musical horn that he had made in the evenings from a goat's horn.
"Lisbeth Longfrock" by Hans Aanrud
Nearer and nearer the great herd came, like a sea of tossing manes and horns.
"The Later Cave-Men" by Katharine Elizabeth Dopp
And when the men of both armies beheld that drawn sword, they blew trumpets and horns and shouted grimly, and made them ready for battle.
"The Book of Romance" by Various

In poetry:

He turned and took the slug-horn up,
And set it to his mouth,
And o’er that meadow of the cup
Blew east and west and south.
"The Hall And The Wood" by William Morris
Till from each black sarcophagus rose up the
painted swathed dead?
Or did you lure unto your bed the ivory-horned
"The Sphinx" by Oscar Wilde
Then Robin set his horn to his mouth,
And blew but blasts three;
Then quickly anon there came Little John,
And all his company.
"Robin Hood And The Butcher" by Andrew Lang
"The morning's feet are wrought of gold,
The hunter's horn is jolly;
Sir Richard bold was rich and old,
Was old and melancholy.
"The Ride" by Madison Julius Cawein
Once more his horn Sir Hornbook blew,
A parting signal shrill:
His merrymen all, so stout and true,
Went marching down the hill.
"Sir Hornbook" by Thomas Love Peacock
Sir Hornbook wound his horn again,
Full long, and loud, and shrill:
His merrymen all, a warlike train,
Went marching up the hill.
"Sir Hornbook" by Thomas Love Peacock

In news:

A Great Horned Owl and chick greeted visitors at Loxahatchee National Wildlife Preserve near Boynton Beach, Florida.
If coach doesn't lead by example, then Horns might look for somebody who will.
When asked who was the winner of Monday night's debate between Democrat Joe Donnelly, Republican Richard Mourdock and Libertarian Andy Horning, I had to think about it for a second.
Attorney General Tom Horne denies allegations that he illegally coordinated with an independent expenditure group during his 2010 campaign.
Tiio Horn will recur in the horror series based on Brian McGreevy's novel.
Horns' Gray living up to sky-high potential.
Spouting Horn near Yachats at it's best.
The Johnson County Airport sits outside of town with merely a windsock and a well-used piece of runway But thatamprsquos all thatamprsquos needed for pilots to explore the Big Horn Mountains.
Andrew Pelletier, horn Kevin Bylsma, piano.
It's a Saturday morning at 8 am, and within hearing distance of a diesel horn blast from the interstate, 15 vehicles form a huddle of sorts around the Four Winds Restaurant on Sparta Pike.
'FWD' Awareness About the Horn of Africa Crisis.
A new PSA campaign to spread awareness of the crisis in the Horn of Africa is being launched today by the US Agency for International Development and the Ad Council.
'Long-term' Needs Grow in Horn of Africa as Drought Shows No Signs of Abating.
Providing US aid to the Horn of Africa .
Horn of Africa Famine Puts 11 Million People at Risk.

In science:

This technique is similar to that used by Mukai & Charles (1988) and Horne, Welsh & Wade (1993).
A TiO study of the dwarf nova IP Pegasi
It was later shown by Horn that in the above theorem the word ‘bistochastic’ can be replaced by ‘orthostochastic’.
Random unistochastic matrices
It is shown that some multiparty multilevel Greenberger-Horne-Zeilinger states [A.
Bell's inequality for n spin-s particles
The question of characterizing the locus of complex eigenvalues for a matrix with prescribed singular values was considered in classical papers by Horn and Weyl .
Random Matrices close to Hermitian or unitary: overview of methods and results
Bell’s argument and Shimony, Horne, and Clauser’s comments are brought together in a review article by d’Espagnat .
Bell inequalities for random fields