Definition of sleigh in English:

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Pronunciation: /sleɪ/


Image of sleigh
A sledge drawn by horses or reindeer, especially one used for passengers.
Example sentences
  • Dog sleds and horse drawn sleighs are also available.
  • Behind the village we follow a candlelit path into the forest ducking under branches, until, in a clearing, by a tall teepee with smoke coming out the top, we come across five reindeer harnessed to old-fashioned sleighs.
  • There are six sleighs drawn by three horses each and carrying from six to twelve passengers.


[no object] (usually as noun sleighing)
Ride on a sleigh: unequalled skiing, skating, and sleighing [as modifier]: sleighing parties
More example sentences
  • The organisation covers all costs including accommodation and winter activities such as para-gliding, skiing, dog sleighing and snowboarding.
  • Raymond the reindeer will be lapping up the attention in Bourton again this Christmas despite fears that he would be sleighing away.
  • Somewhat incongruously she also described the amusements of the respectable ladies and gentlemen of Deadwood, happily recalling picnics, tennis games, church socials, sleighing parties, and balls.


Early 17th century (originally a North American usage): from Dutch slee; related to sled.

  • sledge from Old English:

    The sledge that is a vehicle used on snow and ice came in the late 16th century from Dutch and is related to sled (Middle English), sleigh (early 18th century), slide (Old English), and slither (Middle English). Sleigh is from Dutch, and was originally adopted in North America. To take for a sleigh ride is a dated slang phrase meaning ‘to mislead’, from the use of sleigh ride for an implausible or false story or a hoax. A sleigh ride could also mean ‘a drug-induced high’—this went with the use of snow for cocaine in white powder form, an early 20th-century use for this Old English word. As a name for what we would now more usually call a sledgehammer, the other sledge is recorded in Old English and goes back to a root meaning ‘to strike’ and related to slay. A sledgehammer is a large, heavy hammer used for jobs such as breaking rocks and driving in fence posts, so to take a sledgehammer to crack a nut is to use a disproportionately forceful means to achieve a simple objective. The expression is recorded in the 1930s, but a decade earlier an American version use a sledgehammer to kill a gnat appears. In the 1970s Australian cricketers started sledging, or making offensive or needling remarks to opposing batsmen in an attempt to break their concentration. The idea behind the term is the crudity and lack of subtlety involved in using a sledge or sledgehammer.

Words that rhyme with sleigh

affray, agley, aka, allay, Angers, A-OK, appellation contrôlée, array, assay, astray, au fait, auto-da-fé, away, aweigh, aye, bay, belay, betray, bey, Bombay, Bordet, boulevardier, bouquet, brae, bray, café au lait, Carné, cassoulet, Cathay, chassé, chevet, chez, chiné, clay, convey, Cray, crème brûlée, crudités, cuvée, cy-pres, day, decay, deejay, dégagé, distinguée, downplay, dray, Dufay, Dushanbe, eh, embay, engagé, essay, everyday, faraway, fay, fey, flay, fray, Frey, fromage frais, gainsay, Gaye, Genet, giclee, gilet, glissé, gray, grey, halfway, hay, heigh, hey, hooray, Hubei, Hué, hurray, inveigh, jay, jeunesse dorée, José, Kay, Kaye, Klee, Kray, Lae, lay, lei, Littré, Lough Neagh, lwei, Mae, maguey, Malay, Mallarmé, Mandalay, Marseilles, may, midday, midway, mislay, misplay, Monterrey, Na-Dene, nay, né, née, neigh, Ney, noway, obey, O'Dea, okay, olé, outlay, outplay, outstay, outweigh, oyez, part-way, pay, Pei, per se, pince-nez, play, portray, pray, prey, purvey, qua, Quai d'Orsay, Rae, rangé, ray, re, reflet, relevé, roman-à-clef, Santa Fé, say, sei, Shar Pei, shay, slay, sley, spae, spay, Spey, splay, spray, stay, straightaway, straightway, strathspey, stray, Sui, survey, sway, Taipei, Tay, they, today, tokay, Torbay, Tournai, trait, tray, trey, two-way, ukiyo-e, underlay, way, waylay, Wei, weigh, wey, Whangarei, whey, yea

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