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herse (plural herses)

  1. A kind of gate or portcullis, having iron bars, like a harrow, studded with iron spikes, hung above gateways so that it may be quickly lowered to impede the advance of an enemy.
    (Can we find and add a quotation of Farrow to this entry?)
  2. Obsolete form of hearse (a carriage for the dead)
  3. (obsolete) A funeral ceremony.
    (Can we find and add a quotation of Edmund Spenser to this entry?)


herse (third-person singular simple present herses, present participle hersing, simple past and past participle hersed)

  1. Alternative form of hearse
    • George Chapman, Iliad.
      The Grecians spritefully drew from the darts the corse, And hers'd it, bearing it to fleet.
    • Richard Crashaw
      The house is hers'd about with a black wood, Which nods with many a heavy-headed tree: Each flower's a pregnant poison, try'd and good; Each herb a plague.
    • William Shakespeare, The Merchant of Venice, Act 3, Scene 1.
      I would my daughter were dead at my foot, and the jewels in her ear. O, would she were hers'd at my foot, and the ducats in her coffin.

Part or all of this entry has been imported from the 1913 edition of Webster’s Dictionary, which is now free of copyright and hence in the public domain. The imported definitions may be significantly out of date, and any more recent senses may be completely missing.
(See the entry for herse in
Webster’s Revised Unabridged Dictionary, G. & C. Merriam, 1913.)




Latin hirpex.



herse f (plural herses)

  1. harrow (device for breaking up soil)
  2. portcullis (gate in the form of a grating)
  3. grate, grill (especially to block large objects floating down a river)
  4. candlestick, candelabrum (with a triangular base and spikes to hold large candles)
  5. stage lighting instrument, luminaire that disperses light over a stage
  6. (heraldry) portcullis



  1. first-person singular present indicative of herser
  2. third-person singular present indicative of herser
  3. first-person singular present subjunctive of herser
  4. third-person singular present subjunctive of herser
  5. second-person singular present imperative of herser

Further readingEdit