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An "English" style saddle used for riding horses.
The Homer Saddle (sense 5) in Fiordland, New Zealand. The road to Milford Sound goes through the Homer Tunnel beneath it.


  • IPA(key): /ˈsædəl/, [ˈsædl̩]
  • (file)
  • Rhymes: -ædəl

Etymology 1[edit]

From Middle English sadel, from Old English sadol, from Proto-Germanic *sadulaz, from Proto-Indo-European *sod-dʰlo-, from Proto-Indo-European *sed- (to sit) + *-dʰlom (instrumental suffix). Cognate with Scots sadil, Saterland Frisian Soadel, West Frisian seal, Dutch zadel, Low German Sadel, German Sattel, Danish sadel, Swedish sadel, Icelandic söðull, Russian седло́ (sedló).


saddle (plural saddles)

  1. A seat (tack) for a rider placed on the back of a horse or other animal.
  2. An item of harness (harness saddle) placed on the back of a horse or other animal.
  3. A seat on a bicycle, motorcycle, etc.
  4. A cut of meat that includes both loins and part of the backbone.
    • 1870, The Cook and Housewife's Manual (5th edition)
      A modern refinement is to put laver in the dripping-pan, which, in basting, imparts a high gout: or a large saddle may be served over a pound and a half of laver, stewed in brown sauce with catsup []
    • 1958, Anthony Burgess, The Enemy ni the Blanket (The Malayan Trilogy), published 1972, page 272:
      Certainly, in the gravy soups, turbot, hare, roast saddles, cabinet puddings, boiled eggs at tea-time and bread and butter and meat paste with the morning tray, one tasted one's own decadence[.]
  5. A low point, in the shape of a saddle, between two hills.
    • 1926, T. E. Lawrence, Seven Pillars of Wisdom, New York: Anchor (1991), p. 180:
      After fifteen minutes of this we were glad to reach a high saddle on which former travellers had piled little cairns of commemoration and thankfulness.
    • 1977, John Le Carré, The Honourable Schoolboy, Folio Society 2010, p. 483:
      With Lizzie leading, they scrambled quickly over several false peaks towards the saddle.
  6. (mining) A formation of gold-bearing quartz occurring along the crest of an anticlinal fold, especially in Australia.
  7. The raised floorboard in a doorway.
  8. (construction) A small tapered or sloped area structure that helps channel surface water to drains.
  9. (nautical) A block of wood, usually fastened to one spar and shaped to receive the end of another.
  10. (engineering) A part, such as a flange, which is hollowed out to fit upon a convex surface and serve as a means of attachment or support.
  11. The clitellum of an earthworm.
  12. Any of the saddle-like markings on a boa constrictor.
  13. A saddle shoe.
    • 1972, Judy Blume, Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing (page 56)
      'Brown-and-white saddles for Fudge and loafers for Peter.'
      'OK, Peter... let's see how those feet have grown.'
      I slipped out of my old shoes and stood up.
  14. (music, lutherie) That part of a guitar which supports the strings and, in an acoustic guitar, transfers their vibrations via the bridge to the soundboard.
Derived terms[edit]

Etymology 2[edit]

From Middle English sadelen, from Old English sadolian, from Proto-Germanic *sadulōną.


saddle (third-person singular simple present saddles, present participle saddling, simple past and past participle saddled)

  1. (transitive) To put a saddle on (an animal).
  2. To get into a saddle.
  3. (transitive) To burden or encumber.
    He has been saddled with the task of collecting evidence of the theft.
    They went shopping and left me saddled with two children to look after.
    • 1962 December, “Dr. Beeching previews the plan for British Railways”, in Modern Railways, page 377:
      They saddled themselves with the handling of light flows on a multiplicity of branch lines, and they sacrificed the speed, reliability and low cost of through train operation, even over the main arteries of the system.

See also[edit]


  • Japanese: サドル (sadoru)