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

Keep scrolling for more

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

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

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
See More
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 Some staff have been able to receive unemployment benefits, but business owners continue to be saddled by expensive overheads. Christopher Harress |, al, "Good Samaritan writes checks for Mobile’s struggling small businesses," 2 May 2020 Its step-through frame, which placed the fuel tank under the seat, made saddling up a snap. Popular Science, "Twelve classic products that were perfect from the start," 12 Apr. 2020 Perhaps the country will still be in lockdown, saddled by 30 percent unemployment, and convinced that the president’s slow response cost lives and damaged the economy. Nate Cohn, New York Times, "Why Biden’s Polling Lead vs. Trump Isn’t as Solid as It Looks," 13 Apr. 2020 Moore was on the ballot again Tuesday, but his campaign had been saddled by a lack of funding and generated little buzz unlike in 2017, when his campaign was at the center of American political attention for months. al, "Alabama Senate race headed for GOP runoff on March 31," 3 Mar. 2020 Univision was taken private by a group of private-equity firms in 2007 and continues to be saddled by debt stemming from that $13.7 billion deal. Miriam Gottfried, WSJ, "Univision Suitor Seeks to Recruit CBS Chief to Front Bid," 28 Jan. 2020 Phage therapy is still saddled by geopolitical biases, too, says Strathdee. Charles Schmidt, Scientific American, "Phage Therapy Could Beat Drug-Resistant Illnesses," 1 Nov. 2019 However, as Fast Company notes, being a separate app allowed Google Photos to mine some of the best underlying technology of Google+ without being saddled by its less popular features. Jon Porter, The Verge, "Google Photos passes the 1 billion users mark," 24 July 2019 Near stables in the back of the property, retired racehorses nuzzle one another, lazily waiting to be saddled up by State Police for patrols. Alison Kuznitz,, "A bumper crop of discord over popular Plymouth farm," 18 July 2019

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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about saddle

Time Traveler for saddle

Time Traveler

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

See more words from the same century

Statistics for saddle

Last Updated

27 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Saddle.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 27 May. 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

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

Keep scrolling for more

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).


See Definitions and Examples »

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Obscure Shapes

  • a pile of three dimensional shapes in green
  • Something that is ooid is shaped like:
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Add Diction

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!