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A man employed to look after the horses of people staying at an inn.
- ‘After searching the entire castle, I eventually found them in the stables handing their horses over to the hostlers after a ride.’
- ‘He partook of a leisurely breakfast, paid his reckoning, had the ostler bring his horse, and set off to the sound of church bells in the clear air.’
- ‘When the two of them reached the entrance to the stables, a hostler came walking up.’
- ‘So the hostler cracked his whip, spurred on the lead horse on which he was seated, and the carriage splashed into the estuary.’
- ‘Candle makers, after all, cannot be expected to hail the invention of the electric light bulb, nor hostlers the advent of automobiles, nor canal-boat owners the building of railways, nor TV broadcasters the laying down of cable systems.’
Late Middle English from Old French hostelier ‘innkeeper’, from hostel (see hostel).