Dark Horse Definition

One who achieves unexpected support and success as a political candidate, typically during a party's convention.
American Heritage
An unexpected winner in a horse race, thought beforehand to have very little chance.
Webster's New World
A little-known, unexpectedly successful entrant, as in a horserace.
American Heritage
An almost unknown contestant regarded by few as a likely winner.
Webster's New World
A person who gets or may get the nomination unexpectedly, often by a compromise.
Webster's New World

Other Word Forms of Dark Horse


dark horse

Origin of Dark Horse

  • Originally an allusion to an unknown horse winning a race, as used in an 1831 novel The Young Duke by Benjamin Disraeli.

    From Wiktionary

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dark horse