from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A young male horse.
  • n. A youthful or inexperienced person; a novice.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A young male horse
  • n. A youthful or inexperienced person; a novice
  • n. A short piece of rope once used by petty officers to urge men to work
  • v. To horse; to get with young.
  • v. To befool.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. The young of the equine genus or horse kind of animals; -- sometimes distinctively applied to the male, filly being the female. Cf. foal.
  • n. A young, foolish fellow.
  • n. A short knotted rope formerly used as an instrument of punishment in the navy.
  • intransitive v. To frisk or frolic like a colt; to act licentiously or wantonly.
  • transitive v. To horse; to get with young.
  • transitive v. To befool.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To frisk, frolic, or run at large, like a colt.
  • [Cf. calve, v., 2, and cave, verb, II., 2.] To become detached, as a mass of earth from a bank or excavation; cave: with in.
  • To befool; fool.
  • To beat with a rope's end. See colt, n., 4.
  • n. A young horse, or a young animal of the horse tribe: commonly and distinctively applied to the male, the young female being a filly.
  • n. A person new to office or to the exercise of any art; a green hand: as, a team of colts at cricket.
  • n. A cheat; a slippery fellow.
  • n. A rope's end used for punishment; also, a piece of rope with something heavy at the end used as a weapon.
  • n. The second after-swarm of bees.
  • n. Synonyms Filly, etc. See pony.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. a kind of revolver
  • n. a young male horse under the age of four


Middle English, from Old English.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)



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  • "6. The second after-swarm of bees." --Cent. Dict.

    May 8, 2011

  • "One of the favorites aboard Somers was the relatively tame whip called the colt, also known as the starter. This was a short, thick rope, which stung a lot less than the cat. It was used through the shirt, and not on bare skin, which reduced the sting further. But it was painful enough...."
    —Buckner F. Melton, Jr., A Hanging Offense: The Strange Affair of the Warship Somers (New York and London: Free Press, 2003), 71

    April 26, 2009