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 But after two wins and four seconds this year, trainer Bob Baffert pink-slipped fellow Hall of Famer Mike Smith and replaced him with Joel Rosario in the saddle. Beth Harris,, "McKinzie a lukewarm favorite in Breeders’ Cup Classic," 1 Nov. 2019 Of course, watching rugby, drinking cider, and sleeping in hotels won't be quite as physically taxing as 10 days in the saddle. Jarrett Bellini, CNN, "36 matches in 42 days: South African chases Guinness World Record at Rugby World Cup," 27 Sep. 2019 North and Chicago sat in the saddle as Kim led the horse down a dirt path, the Wyoming plains and river in the background. Elise Taylor, Vogue, "Kim Kardashian West Gives Instagram an Idyllic Look at Their Wyoming Compound," 18 Sep. 2019 In 2011, the store experienced a surge of attention shortly after celebrities like Selena Gomez and Steven Tyler, for inexplicable reasons, got into weaving grizzly saddle hackles — long, thin, speckled rooster feathers — through their hair. Alexandra Marvar, New York Times, "Fly Fishing Is the New Bird-Watching," 14 Oct. 2019 Inside the car, there are actually three fuel tanks: the two saddle tanks as found in the road car and a third located inside the chassis's structural spine that runs down the middle of the car. Jonathan M. Gitlin, Ars Technica, "Behold Corvette’s new racing car, now with its engine in the middle," 12 Oct. 2019 This year, the label simply features the horse with an empty saddle, but the recipe appears to be the same. Brian Manzullo, Detroit Free Press, "Founders: No plans to brew top-rated Canadian Breakfast Stout after 2019," 28 Aug. 2019 Fortunately, GoCycle includes one in a special slot beneath the saddle. Thomas Ricker, The Verge, "GoCycle GX e-bike review: fast, fun, and foldable," 29 July 2019 Different directions on the saddle curve in opposite ways, with one direction curving up and the other curving down. Wired, "Is the Universe a Hologram? Maybe! This Math Trick Shows How," 24 Feb. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Plus, unlike Castellanos, he’s been saddled with a qualifying offer. Jeremy Cluff, azcentral, "Marcell Ozuna free agency speculation: Arizona Diamondbacks among five pursuing outfielder," 22 Nov. 2019 But if that's true, accepting fewer Oreos in the box means investors will be saddled with low returns going forward. Shawn Tully, Fortune, "The S&P 500 May Be Due For a 25% Correction, According to Historical Data," 13 Nov. 2019 Bard said she and her fiancé — Sadie’s father, Nathan Benton — considered delaying their wedding so he wouldn’t be legally saddled with the bills as well. Marshall Allen, ProPublica, "How One Employer Stuck a New Mom With a $898,984 Bill for Her Premature Baby," 4 Nov. 2019 He's been saddled with mediocre cars that not even his raw talent could salvage and a fantastic 2017 was more a blip than a sign Larson would blossom into a perennial championship contender. Dan Gelston,, "Kyle Larson earns spot in 3rd round of NASCAR playoff with Dover victory," 6 Oct. 2019 Still, it was saddled with obligations on contracts written years ago. Rick Clough,, "GE CEO Renews Pledge to Study Breakup After $6.2 Billion Stumble," 16 Jan. 2018 That suggests students who started college, but didn't complete their schooling, may have saddled themselves with debt, while struggling to land the higher-paying job that often comes with a degree. Sarah Min, CBS News, "1 in 4 Americans defaulted on their student loans, study finds," 7 Nov. 2019 Michigan's second defeat of the season saddled it with two conference losses, drastically lowering the odds of winning an elusive Big Ten title. Orion Sang, Detroit Free Press, "Michigan football looks like a completely different team. What changed?," 28 Oct. 2019 In the Indian case, the insufficiency of domestic investment was worsened by problems in the banking sector, which was saddled with high ratios of non-performing loans. Jayati Ghosh, Quartz India, "While India was busy celebrating its “ease of doing business” ranking, its real economy tanked," 5 Aug. 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.

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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

26 Nov 2019

Cite this Entry

“Saddle.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 9 December 2019.

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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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