noun, often attributive
sad·​dle | \ ˈsa-dᵊl How to pronounce saddle (audio) \

Definition of saddle

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1a(1) : a girthed usually padded and leather-covered seat for the rider of an animal (such as a horse)
(2) : a part of a driving harness comparable to a saddle that is used to keep the breeching in place
b : a seat to be straddled by the rider of a vehicle (such as a bicycle)
2 : a device mounted as a support and often shaped to fit the object held
3a : a ridge connecting two higher elevations
b : a pass in a mountain range
4a : both sides of the unsplit back of a carcass including both loins
b : a colored marking on the back of an animal
c : the rear part of a male fowl's back extending to the tail — see duck illustration
5 : the central part of the spine of the binding of a book
6 : a piece of leather across the instep of a shoe
in the saddle
: in control


saddled; saddling\ ˈsad-​liŋ How to pronounce saddle (audio) , ˈsa-​dᵊl-​iŋ \

Definition of saddle (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

1 : to put a saddle on
2a : to place under a burden or encumbrance
b : to place (an onerous responsibility) on a person or group

intransitive verb

: to mount a saddled horse

Illustration of saddle

Illustration of saddle


saddle 1a(1): 1 western, 2 English

In the meaning defined above

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Other Words from saddle


saddleless \ ˈsa-​dᵊl-​(l)əs How to pronounce saddle (audio) \ adjective

Synonyms & Antonyms for saddle

Synonyms: Noun

Synonyms: Verb

Antonyms: Verb

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Examples of saddle in a Sentence

Noun the next day's hike was a stiff climb out of the saddle where they had camped for the night Verb He saddled his horse and mounted it. to the social worker it seemed as though her supervisor had once again saddled her with a truly hopeless case
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Most people spring for the Peloton to get the spin class experience at home: the adrenaline-pumping music, energetic instructors, and out-of-saddle workout are pretty standard in any Peloton commercial, after all. Hannah Cole, USA TODAY, 1 Apr. 2021 By 8:30, out of the saddle and back to the desk – but even seven hours of Zooming feel different when a day starts like that. Michael S. Hopkins, The Christian Science Monitor, 11 Mar. 2021 Express Train, with Juan Hernandez in the saddle, is attempting to become the fourth horse to complete the San Diego Handicap-Pacific Classic double. Bill Center, Los Angeles Times, 21 Aug. 2021 Express Train, with Juan Hernandez in the saddle, is attempting to become only the fourth horse to complete the San Diego Handicap-Pacific Classic double. Bill Center, San Diego Union-Tribune, 20 Aug. 2021 The clever design also lets children put their feet on the ground without getting off the saddle. Lexie Sachs, Good Housekeeping, 17 Aug. 2021 The Saka buried their favorite horses with great care; some were laid to rest with masks, decorations for their manes and tails, and saddle pendants and harnesses. Livia Gershon, Smithsonian Magazine, 11 Aug. 2021 The saddle is a great place to rest, hydrate and grab a snack. Shanti Lerner, The Arizona Republic, 4 Aug. 2021 Just push the saddle down onto the pipe at each sprinkler head location, then twist the handle to puncture the piping, so water can flow to the sprinkler. Merle Henkenius, Popular Mechanics, 25 June 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Both could saddle many real estate investors with significant new tax burdens. Adam Kaufman, Forbes, 14 Sep. 2021 The Eclipse Award winner will also saddle Mandaloun from the No. 7 post as a 15-1 choice in his Derby debut., 27 Apr. 2021 And where Beijing has a reputation for financing arrangements that can saddle countries with heavy debt, Ankara appears so far to tread more softly. Shola Lawal, The Christian Science Monitor, 24 Aug. 2021 Critics say four-year degree programs saddle most students with five-digit debt without a clear path from classroom to career. cleveland, 14 Aug. 2021 Also looming is the possibility of long COVID, which can saddle people of all ages with weeks of fatigue, brain fog, and joint pain. Katherine J. Wu, The Atlantic, 10 Aug. 2021 Then there are the social side effects, from the clearing out of impoverished communities in Rio de Janeiro and Beijing to the albatross of Olympic stadium projects and venues that go unused after the tournament and saddle their hosts with debt. Washington Post, 23 July 2021 More recently, New York trainer Linda Rice has continued to saddle horses at NYRA tracks while appealing a three-year suspension of her license for trading cash for inside information from racing officials. Tim Sullivan, The Courier-Journal, 9 July 2021 Soldiers saddle up on armored seahorses and sharks as if that's totally normal. Hannah Yasharoff, USA TODAY, 10 Aug. 2021

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

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First Known Use of saddle


before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a(1)


before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

History and Etymology for saddle


Middle English sadel, from Old English sadol; akin to Old High German satul saddle

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Time Traveler for saddle

Time Traveler

The first known use of saddle was before the 12th century

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Statistics for saddle

Last Updated

15 Sep 2021

Cite this Entry

“Saddle.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 25 Sep. 2021.

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More Definitions for saddle



English Language Learners Definition of saddle

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a leather-covered seat that is put on the back of a horse
: a seat on a bicycle or motorcycle



English Language Learners Definition of saddle (Entry 2 of 2)

: to put a saddle on (a horse)


sad·​dle | \ ˈsa-dᵊl How to pronounce saddle (audio) \

Kids Definition of saddle

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a padded and leather-covered seat for a rider on horseback
2 : something like a saddle in shape, position, or use


saddled; saddling

Kids Definition of saddle (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : to put a saddle on I saddled my horse.
2 : to put a load on : burden She saddled him with the hardest job.


sad·​dle | \ ˈsad-ᵊl How to pronounce saddle (audio) \

Medical Definition of saddle

: the part of a partial denture that carries an artificial tooth and has connectors for adjacent teeth attached to its ends

More from Merriam-Webster on saddle

Nglish: Translation of saddle for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of saddle for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about saddle


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