saddle

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English[edit]

Pronunciation[edit]

An “English-style” saddle (noun sense 1) used for riding horses.
A saddle or harness saddle (noun sense 1.2), which is used to support the weight of poles or shafts attaching a vehicle to the horse.
The saddle (noun sense 1.4) or immovable seat of a bicycle.
The Homer Saddle (noun sense 2.1) in Fiordland, New Zealand. The road to Milford Sound goes through the Homer Tunnel beneath it.
A diagram of a saddle (noun sense 2.6) or anticline.
The saddle (noun sense 2.7) or saddle point on this graph of is the point marked in red.
The saddle (noun sense 2.8.2) of a string instrument like a violin is the object on which the tailgut—the cord securing the tailpiece (number 2) to the end button (number 12)rests.
An adult harp seal (Pagophilus groenlandicus) has a saddle (noun sense 2.10.3) on its back.
Brown saddles (noun sense 2.10.3) on a boa constrictor (Boa constrictor).
A saddle (noun sense 2.11.1) is a piece of leather across the instep of a shoe, usually having a different colour from the rest of the shoe. Such a shoe (a saddle oxford or saddle shoe) can also be called a saddle (noun sense 2.11.2).

Etymology 1[edit]

From Middle English sadel (seat placed on the back of a horse, etc., for riding) [and other forms],[1] from Old English sadel, sadol (saddle) [and other forms], from Proto-Germanic *sadulaz (saddle); further etymology uncertain, perhaps from Proto-Indo-European *sod-dʰlo-, from *sed- (to sit) + *-dʰlom (a variant of *-trom (suffix forming nouns denoting instruments or tools)), though the Oxford English Dictionary says this “presents formal difficulties”.[2]

Noun[edit]

saddle (plural saddles)

  1. A seat for a rider, often made of leather and raised in the front and rear, placed on the back of a horse or other animal, and secured by a strap around the animal's body.
    1. A similar implement used to secure goods to animals; a packsaddle.
    2. Synonym of harness saddle (the part of a harness which supports the weight of poles or shafts attaching a vehicle to a horse or other animal)
    3. A cushion used as a seat in a cart or other vehicle.
    4. The immovable seat of a bicycle, motorcycle, or similar vehicle.
    5. (by extension)
      1. Chiefly preceded by the: horse-riding as an activity or occupation.
        • 1544 (date written; published 1571), Roger Ascham, Toxophilus, the Schole, or Partitions, of Shooting. [], London: [] Thomas Marshe, OCLC 23644671; republished in The English Works of Roger Ascham, [], London: [] R[obert] and J[ames] Dodsley, [], and J[ohn] Newbery, [], 1761, OCLC 642424485, book 2, page 212:
          [A] good horſeman, [] is ſkilfull to knovv, and hable to tell others, hovv, by certain ſure ſignes, a man may choiſe a colte, that is like to prove an other day excellent for the ſaddle.
        • 1607, Edward Topsell, “Of the Camell Dromedarie”, in The Historie of Fovre-footed Beastes. [], London: [] William Iaggard, OCLC 912897215, page 99:
          [A]nd the third ſort [of camel] are called Ragnahil, vvhich are of lovver ſtature and learner bodies then the reſidue, vnfit for burthen, and therefore are vſed for the ſaddle, by all the Noble men of Numidia, Arabia, and Libia: []
        • 1835, [Edward Bulwer-Lytton], “Looking after the Halter when the Mare is Stolen”, in Rienzi, the Last of the Tribunes. [], volume I, London: Saunders and Otley, [], OCLC 561215543, book II (The Revolution), page 285:
          Well said!—are thy friends ripe for the saddle?
        • 1837, Washington Irving, chapter VI, in The Rocky Mountains: Or, Scenes, Incidents, and Adventures in the Far West; [], volume I, Philadelphia, Pa.: [Henry Charles] Carey, [Isaac] Lea, & Blanchard, OCLC 1256105404, page 74:
          He travelled in company with them until they reached the Sweet Water; then taking a couple of horses, one for the saddle, and the other as a packhorse, he started off express for Pierre's Hole, to make arrangements against their arrival, that he might commence his hunting campaign before the rival company.
        • 1859, Alfred Tennyson, “Elaine”, in Idylls of the King, London: Edward Moxon & Co., [], OCLC 911789798, page 152:
          'Sir King, mine ancient wound is hardly whole, / And lets me from the saddle;' and the King / Glanced first at him, then her, and went his way.
      2. Synonym of saddle brown (a medium brown colour, like that of saddle leather)
        saddle:  
  2. Something resembling a saddle (sense 1) in appearance or shape.
    1. A low point, in the shape of a saddle, between two hills.
      • 1697, William Dampier, chapter IX, in A New Voyage Round the VVorld. [], London: [] James Knapton, [], OCLC 1179524264, page 267:
        The Hill Zeliſco bore S.E. vvhich is a very high Hill in the Country, vvith a Saddle or bending on the top.
      • 1922 (date written; published 1926), T[homas] E[dward] Lawrence, “Book III: A Railway Diversion. Chapter XXXI.”, in Seven Pillars of Wisdom: A Triumph, Garden City, N.Y.: Doubleday, Doran & Company, published 1937, OCLC 873525855, page 180:
        [W]e had to dismount and lead our animals [camels] up a narrow hill-path with broken steps of rock so polished by long years of passing feet that they were dangerous in wet weather. [] 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.
      • 1960 December, Voyageur [pseudonym], “The Mountain Railways of the Bernese Oberland”, in Trains Illustrated, London: Ian Allan Publishing, ISSN 0141-9935, OCLC 35845948, page 752:
        So we continue climbing to the saddle of the Kleine Scheidegg, where ahead there comes into view the wide expanse of the Grindelwald valley, backed by the snowy crown of the Wetterhorn.
      • 1977, John Le Carré [pseudonym; David John Moore Cornwell], “Nelson”, in The Honourable Schoolboy, London: Hodder and Stoughton, →ISBN, page 514:
        With Lizzie leading, they scrambled quickly over several false peaks towards the saddle.
    2. A cut of meat that includes both loins and part of the backbone.
      • 1847, Margaret Dods [pseudonym; Christian Isobel Johnstone], “Roasting”, in The Cook and Housewife’s Manual. [], 8th edition, Edinburgh: Oliver & Boyd; London; Simpkin, Marshall, & Co., OCLC 25486034, paragraph 19, pages 106–107:
        To roast a leg, haunch, or saddle of mutton. [] 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 and seasonings.
      • 1958, Anthony Burgess, chapter 6, in The Enemy in the Blanket (The Malayan Trilogy), London: William Heinemann, published 1979, →ISBN, page 71:
        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: a tradition had been preserved in order to humiliate. Perhaps it really was time the British limped out of Malaya.
    3. (construction)
      1. A small sloped or tapered structure that helps channel surface water to drains.
      2. The raised floorboard in a doorway.
    4. (dentistry) The part of a denture which holds the artificial teeth.
    5. (engineering) An equipment part, such as a flange, which is hollowed out to fit upon a convex surface and serve as a means of attachment or support.
    6. (geology) An anticline (fold with strata sloping downwards on each side); specifically, a depression located along the axial trend of such a fold.
      1. (chiefly Australia, mining) Synonym of saddle reef (a saddle-shaped bedded mineral (usually gold-bearing quartz) vein occurring along the crest of an anticline or (less common) a syncline (an inverted saddle))
    7. (geometry) Synonym of saddle point (a point in the range of a smooth function, every neighbourhood of which contains points on each side of its tangent plane)
    8. (lutherie)
      1. The part of a guitar which supports the strings and, in an acoustic guitar, transfers their vibrations through the bridge to the soundboard.
      2. A small object (traditionally made of ebony) at the bottom of a string instrument such as a cello, viola, or violin below the tailpiece on which the tailgut (cord securing the tailpiece to the instrument) rests.
    9. (nautical) A block of wood with concave depressions at the top and bottom, usually fastened to one spar and shaped to receive the end of another.
    10. (zoology)
      1. The clitellum of an earthworm (family Lumbricidae).
      2. The lower part of the back of a domestic fowl, especially a male bird, bearing the saddle feathers or saddle hackles.
      3. In full saddle marking or saddle patch: a saddle-like marking on an animal, such as one on the back of an adult harp seal or saddleback seal (Pagophilus groenlandicus), or any of numerous such markings on a boa constrictor (Boa constrictor).
    11. (originally and chiefly Canada, US)
      1. A piece of leather stitched across the instep of a shoe, usually having a different colour from the rest of the shoe.
      2. Synonym of saddle oxford or saddle shoe (“a shoe, resembling an oxford, which has a saddle (sense 11.1)”)
Derived terms[edit]
Descendants[edit]
  • Japanese: サドル (sadoru)
Translations[edit]

Etymology 2[edit]

From Middle English sadelen (to put a saddle on (an animal), to saddle) [and other forms],[3] from Old English sadolian, sadelian, sadilian (to saddle), from Proto-Germanic *sadulōną (to saddle), from *sadulaz (a saddle, noun) (see further at etymology 1) + *-ōną (suffix forming denominative verbs from nouns).[4]

Verb[edit]

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

  1. (transitive)
    1. To put a saddle (noun sense 1) on (an animal).
      • 1535 October 14 (Gregorian calendar), Myles Coverdale, transl., Biblia: The Byble, [] (Coverdale Bible), [Cologne or Marburg: Eucharius Cervicornus and J. Soter?], OCLC 79441532, Numerus [Numbers] xxij:[21], folio lxvii, recto, column 2:
        Then roſe Balaam vp in the mornynge, & ſadled his Aſſe, & wente wͪ the prynces of yͤ Moabites.
      • 1615, G[ervase] M[arkham], “[The Hvsbandmans Recreations: []] Of the Ordering and Dyeting of the Running Horse”, in Covntrey Contentments, in Two Bookes: The First, Containing the Whole Art of Riding Great Horses in Very Short Time, [] The Second Intituled, The English Husvvife: [], London: [] I[ohn] B[eale] for R[oger] Iackson, [], OCLC 1063205052, 2nd section (Of Horse-manshippe), page 84:
        Saddle your horſe on the race day in the ſtable before you leade him forth, and fixe both the pannell and the girthes to his backe and ſides vvith Shooe-makers vvaxe to preuent all daungers.
      • 1623, Richard Percivale; John Minsheu, “Báyo”, in A Dictionary in Spanish and English: [], London: [] Iohn Haviland for William Aspley, OCLC 1339104092, page 44, column 1:
        vno pienſa el Báyo, otro que lo ensilla, the bay horſe thinketh one thing, and he that ſaddleth him thinketh another thing.
      • 1659, T[itus] Livius [i.e., Livy], “[Book XXXVII]”, in Philemon Holland, transl., The Romane Historie [], London: [] W. Hunt, for George Sawbridge, [], OCLC 12997447, page 766:
        Some fevv of the horſes kept their ſtanding ſtill unaffrighted, and even thoſe they had much ado to ſaddle, to bridle, and to mount upon; []
      • 1853, R[ichard] W[illiams] Morgan, “The Venedotian and His Land”, in Raymond de Monthault, the Lord Marcher: A Legend of the Welch Borders. [], volume III, London: Richard Bentley, [], OCLC 12118875, page 50:
        "Nay, nay, Reynallt," said Ap Teudor, replying to the angry glance of the Forester, "thou saddlest the wrong steed: like the Abbot, I have no voice but that of obedience."
        Used figuratively.
      • 1892, George Ferguson, “Canto VI. Earth’s Phases: The Ministry of Night: Early Temples.”, in Our Earth—Night to Twilight, volume I, London: T[homas] Fisher Unwin [], OCLC 560068919, page 155:
        And he [Abraham] doth rise up with the morrow's dawn, / And for that bidden flame, the wood straightway / He cleaveth now; and saddleth his ass; / And taking him his son [Isaac] and servants hence, / Doth journey thitherward—full of his God.
      • 1899, Richard Wagner, “Siegfried’s Death”, in William Ashton Ellis, transl., Richard Wagner’s Prose Works, volume VIII (Posthumous, etc.), London: Kegan Paul, Trench, Trübner & Co., OCLC 857094865, Act III, scene ii, page 45:
        Brünnhild! Brünnhild! / Thou shining child of Wotan! / Bright-beaming through the night, / the hero I see thee draw near: / with holy earnest smile / thou saddlest thy horse, / that dew-dripping / cleaveth the clouds.
    2. To put (something) on to another thing like a saddle on an animal.
    3. (figuratively)
      1. To enter (a trained horse) into a race.
      2. (often passive) Chiefly followed by with: to burden or encumber (someone) with some problem or responsibility.
        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, Shepperton, Surrey: Ian Allen Publishing, ISSN 0026-8356, OCLC 884584817, 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.
      3. Chiefly followed by on or upon: to place (a burden or responsibility) or thrust (a problem) on someone.
        • 1881, Walter Besant; James Rice, “How Lord Chudleigh Received His Freedom”, in The Chaplain of the Fleet [], volume III, London: Chatto and Windus, [], OCLC 21021742, part II (The Queen of the Wells), page 248:
          I did not dislose the name of the man I proposed, because I found her only too eager to marry anyone upon whom she could saddle her debts, and so make him either pay them or change places with her.
      4. (archaic) To control or restrain (someone or something), as if using a saddle; to bridle, to harness, to rein in.
      5. (obsolete, rare) To get (someone) to do a burdensome task.
        • 1826 October 25 (date written), Walter Scott, “[Entry dated 25 October 1826]”, in David Douglas, editor, The Journal of Sir Walter Scott [], volume I, Edinburgh: David Douglas, published 1890, OCLC 1181301740, page 283:
          Picked up Sotheby, who endeavoured to saddle me for a review of his polyglot Virgil. I fear I shall scarce convince him that I know nothing of the Latin lingo.
    4. (woodworking) To cut a saddle-shaped notch in (a log or other piece of wood) so it can fit together with other such logs or pieces; also, to fit (logs or other pieces of wood) together with this method.
    5. (obsolete)
      1. To put something on to (another thing) like a saddle on an animal.
  2. (intransitive, chiefly Canada, US) Often followed by up.
    1. To put a saddle on an animal.
    2. Of a person: to get into a saddle.
Usage notes[edit]

Not to be confused with sidle.

Conjugation[edit]
Derived terms[edit]
Translations[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ sā̆del, n.”, in MED Online, Ann Arbor, Mich.: University of Michigan, 2007.
  2. ^ saddle, n.1 and adj.”, in OED Online Paid subscription required, Oxford, Oxfordshire: Oxford University Press, June 2022; “saddle, n.”, in Lexico, Dictionary.com; Oxford University Press, 2019–2022.
  3. ^ sā̆delen, v.”, in MED Online, Ann Arbor, Mich.: University of Michigan, 2007.
  4. ^ Compare “saddle, v.”, in OED Online Paid subscription required, Oxford, Oxfordshire: Oxford University Press, March 2022; “saddle, v.”, in Lexico, Dictionary.com; Oxford University Press, 2019–2022.

Further reading[edit]

Anagrams[edit]