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 saddling (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 saddleless (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 War Admiral, with Charles Kurtsinger in the saddle, leads from starting gate to finish and goes on to win the Preakness and Belmont stakes, becoming the fourth horse to win the Triple Crown. John Scheibe, Los Angeles Times, "This day in Sports: Fernandomania makes its Broadway debut," 8 May 2020 On certain bumps, the chassis shot us out of the saddle like a PBR bull. Tony Quiroga, Car and Driver, "2021 Porsche 911 Turbo S Reminds Us What Fast Feels Like," 7 Apr. 2020 Count saddle bronc rider Rusty Wright as another fan of the San Antonio Stock Show & Rodeo draft. John Whisler,, "Success of cowboy draft inspires more changes to San Antonio Rodeo format for 2020," 1 Feb. 2020 For the next few years, the Instagram account was filled with photos of horses, horse shows, custom saddles, clothing including Western-style boots, a high-end truck and horse trailer and a boat. oregonlive, "‘Big dreams, nice horses & expensive taste’: Clackamas County bookeeper accused in $500,000 embezzlement case," 16 Jan. 2020 The stainless steel exterior of what looks like a vintage Airstream trailer serves as the entrance to a bedroom decorated with a pink leather riding saddle, colorful satin award ribbons and walls of Polaroid snapshots. Bonnie Mccarthy,, "We went behind the scenes of the new ‘Big Brother’ house in Studio City," 6 July 2019 First and foremost, padded bike shorts help alleviate one of the most common complaints among cyclists: chronic butt and groin pain, which is often caused by pressure from the saddle on key pelvic areas when sitting on it too long. Cassie Shortsleeve, SELF, "Do You Really Need Padded Bike Shorts for Your Cycling Class?," 10 Mar. 2020 It's been hand-crafting leather saddles since 1837, after all. Jenna Rosenstein, Harper's BAZAAR, "The New Hermès Lipsticks Are a Masterclass In Sustainable Luxury," 5 Mar. 2020 Gamez was leading in the fifth race at Rillito Park Racetrack when his horse stumbled and he was thrown from the saddle. Name Goeshere,, "Coronavirus will not postpone the Olympics, IOC says," 3 Mar. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb The letter said the plan would saddle PG&E with too much debt and urged the commission to condition its approval on the company securing more equity commitments. J.d. Morris,, "PG&E bankruptcy judge weighs concerns about fire victims’ lawyer," 12 May 2020 In that event, parts of the loans would not be forgiven, saddling the borrowers with debt. New York Times, "U.S. Jobs Report Shows Clearest Data Yet on Economic Toll," 8 May 2020 The disease, spread by female Anopheles mosquitoes, is already costing the continent about $12 billion a year in direct losses and saddles families with crippling medical costs. Uwagbale Edward-ekpu, Quartz Africa, "A Kenyan-British team of scientists has discovered a microbe to stop malaria transmission," 7 May 2020 Casse, 59, is an Indianapolis native who took out his trainer’s license at the age of 17 and saddled his first winner in April of 1979 at Keeneland with Joe’s Coming. Jason Frakes, The Courier-Journal, "Mark Casse and Wise Dan among inductees into National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame," 6 May 2020 At the start of the outbreak, most laboratories didn’t have clearance from the FDA to develop their own tests, saddling government agencies such as the CDC with the brunt of the work, McAdam says. Katherine J. Wu, Smithsonian Magazine, "Breaking Down the Two Tests That Could Help Contain the COVID-19 Pandemic," 7 Apr. 2020 While any dentist might be tempted to find ways to increase profit, private-equity firms often saddle their companies with heavy debt at junk-bond-caliber interest rates. USA Today, "Dentists under pressure to drill ‘healthy teeth’ for profit, former insiders allege," 19 Mar. 2020 While any dentist might be tempted to find ways to increase profit, private-equity firms often saddle their companies with heavy debt at junk-bond-caliber interest rates. Indianapolis Star, "'Drilling perfectly healthy teeth': Some Indiana dentists pressured to profit, insiders say," 19 Mar. 2020 These increases saddled businesses with lost productivity and added expenses for retraining replacement hires. Jay Heflin, Washington Examiner, "Tight labor market could help Trump’s reelection bid, but cost companies," 5 Mar. 2020

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

27 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Saddle.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 1 Jun. 2020.

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More Definitions for saddle


How to pronounce saddle (audio)

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

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