dark horse


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dark horse

1. Someone who unexpectedly wins a competition. Nobody thought Cheri could win the race after breaking her leg last year, but she turned out to be a dark horse and took first place. No one thought the brash newcomer would be a threat to the established candidates, but he's turning out to be a real dark horse in this campaign.
2. Someone who surprises others with their skills or talents. Primarily heard in UK, Australia. Angela was suddenly viewed as a dark horse when she displayed her beautiful sculptures at the art fair. Nobody knew she had such artistic talent.
See also: dark, horse

dark horse

Fig. someone or something whose abilities, plans, or feelings are little known to others. (From a race horse about which little or nothing is known.) It's difficult to predict who will win the prize—there are two or three dark horses in the tournament. Everyone was surprised at the results of the election. The dark horse won.
See also: dark, horse

dark horse

A little known, unexpectedly successful entrant, as in You never can tell-some dark horse may come along and win a Senate seat. This metaphoric expression originally alluded to an unknown horse winning a race and was so used in a novel by Benjamin Disraeli ( The Young Duke, 1831). It soon began to be transferred to political candidates, among the first of whom was James K. Polk. He won the 1844 Democratic Presidential nomination on the eighth ballot and went on to win the election.
See also: dark, horse

dark horse

1. n. an unknown entrant into a contest; a surprise candidate for political office. The party is hoping that a dark horse will appear before the election.
2. mod. previously unknown. A dark horse player can win if all the others are creeps.
See also: dark, horse
References in periodicals archive ?
Top of his inbox was a message from the Dark Horse.
We're excited to be working with our longtime partner Dark Horse Comics to expand upon the rich storytelling of the AVATAR universe, providing a whole new way for fans to interact.
Dark Horse Theatre members in Snakebite, a recent |production at the Lawrence Batley Theatre
Keith Marsden, of the Prince of Wales in Moseley, has opened The Dark Horse, specialising in American barbecue
Additionally, fans will enjoy special exclusive items produced by Dark Horse and available for the first time at Wizard World Portland Comic Con
It hasn't always been easy for Dark Horse director Todd Solondz.
FOLLETT, David Uncle Silas--Genetis Dark Horse Books, 2010 69pp $9.
Northern Ontario has a dark horse in a race that is not getting enough attention.
Trialled last year, the Dark Horse project in part of County Durham helped 10 people find work once they were released from prison.
Phillips has just completed a 90-page graphic novel for Dark Horse Comics called Culprits.
It's often worth backing the dark horse and that could be the case with the musical feast that is Carmina Burana.
The company also is the exclusive distributor to the comic book specialty market for Dark Horse Comics, DC Comics, Image Comics, Marvel Comics and many others.
The stranger brings the legendary, much-feared Dark Horse in his wake--marauders from the north, who swoop down and attack the village, forcing Sig to take over as leader of his tribe and eventually revealing Mouse's unexpected true identity.
John Edwards is my friend Walter Shapiro's dark horse, and mine too, despite his dismaying lack of government experience.