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to·​bog·​gan tə-ˈbä-gən How to pronounce toboggan (audio)
: a long flat-bottomed light sled made usually of thin boards curved up at one end with usually low handrails at the sides
: a downward course or a sharp decline
chiefly Southern US and Midland US : stocking cap

Illustration of toboggan

Illustration of toboggan
  • toboggan 1


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tobogganed; tobogganing; toboggans

intransitive verb

: to coast on or as if on a toboggan
: to decline suddenly and sharply
tobogganer noun
tobogganist noun

Examples of toboggan in a Sentence

Verb The kids tobogganed down the hill.
Recent Examples on the Web
Lap up Lapland’s lively diversions, such as wilderness sled and sledge rides pulled by snowmobiles, reindeers or husky dogs; toboggan slides; snow-shoeing hikes; wool-sock nature walks; kick and fat bike outings; and ice water floats (while wearing buoyant brrr-thwarting wetsuits). Laura Manske, Forbes, 7 Mar. 2023 Patrollers must be able to ski an 80-pound toboggan loaded with a large adult to safety. Karin Brulliard, Anchorage Daily News, 17 Mar. 2023 Active, confident hikers should venture to Jinshanling, while families may want to stick with the more accessible Mutianyu section (there’s an unforgettable, five-minute toboggan ride from the top of the eastern end to the bottom). Melanie Lieberman, Travel + Leisure, 27 Mar. 2023 Elsewhere, ice fishing derbies are canceling angling and toboggan chutes are screeching to a halt. Jesse McKinley, New York Times, 21 Feb. 2023 Though they aren’t meant to cater to downhill skiers or avid sledders, many function as trailheads for backcountry skiers venturing into the mountains overnight or provide quick access to slopes for toboggan rides. Gregory Thomas, San Francisco Chronicle, 7 Jan. 2022 My most memorable adventure of 2022: Sledding down what’s claimed to be the longest toboggan run in the world. Rachel Schnalzeraudience Engagement Editor, Los Angeles Times, 29 Dec. 2022 Bring a toboggan, some friends, and your sense of adventure and race in the 32nd annual US National Toboggan Championships in Camden, Maine, Feb. 3-5. Kari Bodnarchuk,, 26 Jan. 2023
By the end of their nine-hour workday, the red-jacketed patrollers had tobogganed out multiple knee injuries and a broken ankle, responded to a few crashes with trees and patched one bloody chin. Karin Brulliard, Anchorage Daily News, 17 Mar. 2023 Brandon Smith bought Legion FC toboggans for himself and his 10-year-old daughter from the merchandise tent. Cheryl Wray, al, 9 Feb. 2020 The backdrop of snowy evergreens makes the meadow a beautiful place to sled or toboggan. John Pana, cleveland, 9 Jan. 2020 Cost: See the Cleveland Metroparks’ tobogganing webpage for current information. John Pana, cleveland, 9 Jan. 2020 When not on assignment, Robbie can be found chasing adventures at home in the heart of the Alps, or photographing rock climbers on via ferrata, tobogganing competitions, and cultural events. National Geographic, 15 Sep. 2019 Edmond Lam takes his children tobogganing in Edmonton. Paolo Bosonin, WSJ, 26 Dec. 2018 To The Pathe Archives: Here’s the 1965 world tobogganing championship from Davos. Charles P. Pierce, Esquire, 26 Jan. 2018 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'toboggan.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History



Canadian French tobogan, of Algonquian origin; akin to Micmac tobâgun drag made of skin

First Known Use


circa 1820, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1846, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of toboggan was circa 1820

Dictionary Entries Near toboggan

Cite this Entry

“Toboggan.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 7 Dec. 2023.

Kids Definition


1 of 2 noun
to·​bog·​gan tə-ˈbäg-ən How to pronounce toboggan (audio)
: a long light sled made without runners and curved up at the front


2 of 2 verb
: to slide on a toboggan

More from Merriam-Webster on toboggan

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