1 a : a wooden shoe worn in various European countries
b : a strap across the instep in a shoe especially of the sandal type; also : a shoe having a sabot strap
2 : a thrust-transmitting carrier that positions a missile in a gun barrel or launching tube and that prevents the escape of gas ahead of the missile
3 : a dealing box designed to hold several decks of playing cards
Did You Know?
The term sabot may have first been introduced into English in a 1607 translation from French: "wooden shoes," readers were informed, are "properly called sabots." The gun-related sense appeared in the mid-1800s with the invention of a wooden gizmo that kept gun shells from shifting in the gun barrel. Apparently, someone thought the device resembled a wooden shoe and named it sabot (with later generations of this device carrying on the name). Another kind of French sabot—a metal "shoe" used to secure rails to railway ties—is said to be the origin of the word sabotage, from workers destroying the sabots during a French railway strike in the early 1900s. The word sabot is probably related to savate, a Middle French word for an old shoe.
"The spin imparted by rifling lets slugs separate cleanly from the sabot, makes them fly true, and allows them to expand." — Phil Bourjaily, Field & Stream, November 2014
"The man is a venerable but unprepossessing figure; he rests his hands on a cane, he has sabots on his feet, wears cinched gaiters over his trousers and has two medals on his greatcoat." — Michael Prodger, The New Statesman, 17 June 2015
Test Your Vocabulary with M-W Quizzes
Test Your Vocabulary
Fill in the blanks to create a word for a clog, sandal, or overshoe with a wooden sole or metal device to elevate the foot or aid in walking in mud: pa _ t _ n.VIEW THE ANSWER
Theme music by Joshua Stamper ©2006 New Jerusalem Music/ASCAP