noun, often attributive
sad·dle | \ ˈsa-dᵊl \

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, 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 \ adjective

Synonyms & Antonyms for saddle

Synonyms: Verb

burden, encumber, freight, lade, laden, load, lumber, weight

Antonyms: Verb

disburden, discharge, disencumber, unburden, unlade, unload

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Examples of saddle in a Sentence


the next day's hike was a stiff climb out of the saddle where they had camped for the night


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

Gronkowski the horse was calm while Gronkowski the human petted him on the side of his neck while two jockeys put his saddle on. Nora Princiotti,, "A tale of two Gronkowskis, and their day at the Belmont Stakes," 10 June 2018 At least, that’s the case that Rihanna has made in the past, with an instantly iconic photo of her riding a jet ski side-saddle, her facial expression non-plussed. Cady Lang, Time, "Jay Z on a Jet Ski Is the Meme We All Deserve This Summer," 9 July 2018 In this utility-crazy world, there are more ways to satisfy your desire for a vehicle with abundant cargo capacity and tall-in-the-saddle seating than ever before. Malcolm Gunn,, "2018 Lexus NX," 28 June 2018 But once a saver, always a saver: Sabastian's new goal is to buy a new saddle and provide health care for Tom. Sarah Schreiber, Good Housekeeping, "Little Boy Cries With Joy After Meeting the Pony He's Been Saving For," 18 Oct. 2016 In other words, the weight of a jockey plus the saddle weighs about as much as Gronk’s left side. Kalyn Kahler,, "The Odds Aren’t In His Favor, but Rob Gronkowski Is All in on Gronkowski the Horse," 5 June 2018 His armor, horse and saddle were slathered in thick monochromatic swathes of grey and red. Jason Daley, Smithsonian, "Restorationist Botches 16th-Century Spanish Statue of Saint," 28 June 2018 When that time runs out guests can enjoy unlimited access to the aqua park area and play on a water trampoline, slides, climbing walls, or just float around on the complimentary saddle floats. Daniela Sternitzky-di Napoli, Houston Chronicle, "Floating water park opening on Lake Travis just in time for the peak of summer," 25 June 2018 Follow the trail past the saddle, and you're rewarded with an up-and-down ridge walk fit for a mountain run or slow meander — all the better to drink in the views. Tegan Hanlon, Anchorage Daily News, "12 Anchorage-area hikes you can do in about 5 hours or less," 15 June 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

The rowhouse was appraised at $7,500, but saddled with tax liens that exceeded its value. Tim Prudente,, "Collapse: The rise and deadly fall of a Baltimore rowhouse," 12 July 2018 That eliminates much of the manual work that pharmacists often are saddled with now. Robert Langreth And Zachary Tracer,, "Amazon makes $1 billion splash into health care with PillPack pact," 28 June 2018 That eliminates much of the manual work that pharmacists often are saddled with now. Robert Langreth / Bloomberg, Time, "Amazon Makes Big Foray Into Health Care With Purchase of Pharmacy Startup PillPack," 28 June 2018 Homeowners will be unable to purchase flood insurance, and will eventually be saddled with underwater mortgages, in multiple sense of the term. Patrick Sisson, Curbed, "Coming crisis of coastal flooding: $1 trillion of real estate at risk by 2100," 18 June 2018 At issue in the case is Senate Bill 151, the General Assembly’s move to reform Kentucky’s pension system that is saddled with more than $40 billion in unfunded liabilities. Tom Loftus, The Courier-Journal, "Matt Bevin takes fight with judge in pension case to higher office," 6 June 2018 Yet November 2024 will look far away indeed for Mueller’s targets, who will be saddled with enormous legal bills and could be convicted and serve hard time well before then. Andrew Prokop, Vox, "Why Trump hasn’t tried to pardon his way out of the Mueller probe — yet," 1 June 2018 Lindon seems suitably cast, exuding the right kind of bearish fortitude, but is saddled with labored dialogue. Robert Abele,, "The biopic 'Rodin' about the famous French sculptor lacks shape and drama," 31 May 2018 Since then, the sloth has been horrendously misunderstood and saddled with a name that references sin. National Geographic, "What You Think You Know About Animals? Probably Not True," 26 May 2018

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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Statistics for saddle

Last Updated

17 Sep 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for saddle

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

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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 \

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 \

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

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Comments on saddle

What made you want to look up saddle? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


alleviating pain or harshness

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