Definition of saddle in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈsad(ə)l/


Image of saddle
1A seat fastened on the back of a horse or other animal for riding, typically made of leather and raised at the front and rear.
Example sentences
  • Proper Tuareg riding saddles are placed in front of the camel's hump and you sit cross-legged with your bare feet resting on the camel's neck.
  • The accounts amaze me; horse bites, riding runaway horses, saddles that fall off, getting kicked, and all because the horse owner did not give any instruction beforehand.
  • On the manager's office's left side was a grand, immense tack room, holding saddles, bridles, leathers, irons, and all assortments of tack to a large magnitude.
1.1A seat on a bicycle or motorcycle.
Example sentences
  • Perhaps it's time for scientists to take a second look at toilet seats, bicycle saddles and other gym equipment.
  • For years we've been warning you that hard bicycle saddles can press against the nerves and blood vessels that lead to your happy place, potentially resulting in numbness and even impotence.
  • In the last few weeks I have written about many topics such as goal setting, traveling, and bicycle saddles but I have overlooked a fundamental topic the sport of cycling.
2A shaped support on which a cable, wire, or pipe rests.
Example sentences
  • The design also has two pinions on top of the grader's saddle for superior support.
  • Simply mount the saddle in the desired place thread the tie through the holes and zip it around the cable bundle.
2.1A fireclay bar for supporting ceramic ware in a kiln.
Example sentences
  • The cooler tubes rest in saddles in a ring-shaped member surrounding the rotary kiln and are retained in the saddles by caps with clearance so as to permit axial movement and radial heat expansion of the cooler tubes.
2.2The part of a draught horse’s harness which supports the straps to which the shafts are attached.
Example sentences
  • Mr Kotovs said a horse working six days a week would probably need a new saddle and harness every six to eight months.
3A low part of a ridge between two higher points or peaks: follow the road which goes across the saddle between two tors
More example sentences
  • For five rainy days he tramped ever-widening circles out from the base, traversing ridges and saddles and moiling through valleys while the armed guard followed him every step of the way.
  • A small shoal of barracuda patrol a saddle in the ridge, but there are not the enormous shoals of barracuda or trevally to be found at Richelieu Rock.
  • From its porch, you see a snow-covered moonscape of ridges and saddles.
3.1 Mathematics A low region of a curve between two high points, especially (in three dimensions) one representing the highest point of a curve in one direction and the lowest point in another direction.
Example sentences
  • Indeed, one can imagine the surface as the sum of an infinite number of saddles.
  • Such a surface cannot be drawn in three dimensions, but it can be imagined as a surface which everywhere has the curvature of a saddle.
4The lower part of the back in a mammal or fowl, especially when distinct in shape or marking: feathers at the rear of a rooster’s saddle
More example sentences
  • Both specimens have the different shape of saddles and the digit patterns of lateral lobe.
  • The suture is quadrilobate and of modest complexity, with two trifid lobes represented on the flanks, margined by bifid saddles.
  • The backward and forward stretching lobes and saddles actually provide resistance to pressure perpendicular to the septum.
4.1A joint of meat consisting of the two loins: a saddle of lamb [mass noun]: a recipe for saddle of hare
More example sentences
  • The rabbit was served as a tiny saddle, loin and liver.
  • Bone out the saddles into two loins leaving the belly attached.
  • Trim fillets from the saddles, wrap lightly in cling film and set in the fridge.


[with object]
1Put a saddle on (a horse): he was in the stable saddling up his horse
More example sentences
  • In the light of a lantern Wiley Thomas was saddling up his horse and adjusting his saddle bags.
  • They saw Darryl there, saddling up his favorite horse, named May.
  • I do remember overhearing them one other time while they were saddling up their horses.
1.1(Of a trainer) enter (a horse) for a race: he saddles Native Mission in today’s Tote Gold Trophy Hurdle at Newbury
More example sentences
  • John Gosden has a powerful squad of horses at his disposal again this season and the Manton trainer saddles a promising filly in Lurina in the Directa Gaffa Maiden Stakes.
  • There was joy on the double for racing's first Lady Jessica Harrington at Leopardstown as the County Kildare trainer saddled the winners of the two feature races.
  • A year ago the Lambourn trainer saddled Haafhd to win this Group 3 race before that colt went on to 2,000 Guineas glory a fortnight later.
2 (usually be saddled with) Burden (someone) with an onerous responsibility or task: he’s saddled with debts of $12 million
More example sentences
  • You realise you are saddled with responsibilities.
  • Then it just might be possible to have her be guardian for the others, but why should such a young person be saddled with responsibility like that?
  • It said the knock-on effect of this would be that people were saddled with debt for longer and would be unable to get on to the housing ladder or start paying into a pension until much later in life.
burden, encumber, lumber, hamper, weigh down, land, charge;
inflict something on, impose something on, thrust something on, unload something on, fob something off on to


in the saddle

On horseback: a six-day trail ride, with six hours daily in the saddle
More example sentences
  • Warm temperatures during the week made plenty of stops essential to water the horses but the riders coped well, spending up to six hours a day in the saddle.
  • Mrs Tomlinson and her brother aim to finish the journey in three weeks and will spend five or six hours a day in the saddle.
  • By the end of the lesson, she is sitting deep in the saddle as her horse canters in a controlled, relaxed manner.
1.1In a position of control or responsibility: strategic Toryism must get back in the saddle
More example sentences
  • He must be thrilled to be back in the saddle, running for president, which is the only thing he knows how to do.
  • Army careers were flexible in the 19th century, and there is no reason why Hervey should not stay in the saddle almost till Crimea.
  • It's one of Cronenberg's best works, and may just put him back in the saddle with the non-arthouse crowds.
in charge, in command, in control, responsible, at the top, in authority, in the seat of authority, at the wheel, in the driving seat, at the helm;
managing, running, administering, directing, supervising, overseeing, controlling, commanding, leading, heading up
informal holding the reins, running the show, pulling the strings, calling the shots





Old English sadol, sadul, of Germanic origin; related to Dutch zadel and German Sattel, perhaps from an Indo-European root shared by Latin sella 'seat' and sit.

  • saloon from early 18th century:

    Along with gunfights between goodies in white Stetsons and baddies in black ones, the saloon or bar is an important feature of Westerns. Like many an outlaw in the American West, people may sometimes have to drink at the last chance saloon, ‘take one final chance to get something right’. The name, sometimes expanded to First and Last Chance Saloon, was used in the US from about 1890 for the name of a saloon on the edge of town. The name was introduced to a wider public as the place that Frenchie, played by Marlene Dietrich, ran in the 1939 Western Destry Rides Again. Saloons (the word comes via French from Italian, from sala ‘hall’) were originally much more genteel than those on the wild frontier—the word at first applied to a large reception room or an elegant drawing room, as did salon (late 17th century), which has exactly the same source. Until many pubs were remodelled in the 1980s, most had a saloon bar, a separate area that was more luxuriously furnished and where drinks were more expensive than in the public bar. During the 19th century a saloon was a luxurious railway carriage used as a lounge or restaurant or for a private party. As the age of the car followed that of the train, a closed car with a separate boot came to be a saloon car in Britain. The American name, found from 1912 in this sense, is sedan, which was an Italian dialect word from Latin sella ‘seat’, also the source of saddle (Old English).

Words that rhyme with saddle

addle, paddle, skedaddle, staddle, straddle

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: sad¦dle

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