sa·​bot | \ sa-ˈbō How to pronounce sabot (audio) , ˈsa-(ˌ)bō, for sense 1b also ˈsa-bət How to pronounce sabot (audio) \

Definition of sabot

1a : a wooden shoe worn in various European countries
b(1) : a strap across the instep in a shoe especially of the sandal type
(2) : a shoe having a sabot strap
2 : a thrust-transmitting carrier that positions a missile in a gun barrel or launching tube and that prevents the escape of gas ahead of the missile

Illustration of sabot

Illustration of sabot

sabot 1a

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The Evolution of Sabot

The term sabot may have first been introduced into English in a 1607 translation from French: "wooden shoes," readers were informed, are "properly called sabots." The gun-related sense appeared in the mid-1800s with the invention of a wooden gizmo that kept gun shells from shifting in the gun barrel. Apparently, someone thought the device resembled a wooden shoe and named it sabot (with later generations of this device carrying on the name). Another kind of French sabot—a metal "shoe" used to secure rails to railway ties—is said to be the origin of the word sabotage, from workers destroying the sabots during a French railway strike in the early 1900s. The word sabot is probably related to savate, a Middle French word for an old shoe.

Examples of sabot in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Starts at $37 per 20; A new addition to the Barnes VOR-TX line of ammunition are the Expander Tipped sabot-slug shotshells in 20 and 12-gauge. Richard Mann, Field & Stream, "Best New Hunting, Long-Range, and Handgun Ammo of the 2020 SHOT Show," 22 Jan. 2020 The sabot falls away as the dart exits the barrel and heads downrange toward its target. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, "Pennsylvania Jogger Stumbles Upon Anti-Tank Round," 25 Oct. 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'sabot.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of sabot

1607, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for sabot


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The first known use of sabot was in 1607

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Last Updated

7 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Sabot.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 28 Feb. 2020.

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Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with sabot

Nglish: Translation of sabot for Spanish Speakers Encyclopedia article about sabot

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