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[sley] /sleɪ/
a light vehicle on runners, usually open and generally horse-drawn, used especially for transporting persons over snow or ice.
a sled.
verb (used without object)
to travel or ride in a sleigh.
Origin of sleigh1
1690-1700, Americanism; < Dutch slee, variant of slede sled; cf. slide
Related forms
sleigher, noun
Can be confused
sled, sledge, sleigh.


[sley] /sleɪ/
noun, verb (used with object)


or slay, sleigh

[sley] /sleɪ/
noun, plural sleys.
the reed of a loom.
the warp count in woven fabrics.
British. the lay of a loom.
verb (used with object)
to draw (warp ends) through the heddle eyes of the harness or through the dents of the reed in accordance with a given plan for weaving a fabric.
before 1050; Middle English sleye, Old English slege weaver's reed; akin to Dutch slag, German Schlag, Old Norse slag, Gothic slahs a blow; see slay Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for sleighing
Historical Examples
  • I had one of the best trotters in the country, and the sleighing was superb.

    The Trail of '98

    Robert W. Service
  • The sleighing was fine, and the snow was six and seven feet deep on a level.

    The Land of the Long Night Paul du Chaillu
  • Of all pleasures, winter sleighing was still the gayest and most popular.

  • Well, it's only three days, and the sleighing is practically ended.

    Under Fire Charles King
  • It's such fun coasting and skating and sleighing and snow-balling.

    Heart of Gold

    Ruth Alberta Brown
  • He is a good traveller, and the sleighing will be fine if the snow be not too deep.

    The Wide, Wide World Susan Warner
  • The sleighing was quite passable, and the weather, that day, mild.

    The Cabin on the Prairie

    C. H. (Charles Henry) Pearson
  • As to sleighing, I have been sleighing about to that extent, that I am sick of the sound of a sleigh-bell.

  • There was sleighing at Fincastle when the wedding day came, just after New Year's, 1808.

    The Conquest

    Eva Emery Dye
  • We have had sleighing here for a long time, and first-rate coasting.

British Dictionary definitions for sleighing


another name for sledge1 (sense 1)
(intransitive) to travel by sleigh
Derived Forms
sleigher, noun
Word Origin
C18: from Dutch slee, variant of sledesledge1
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for sleighing



"vehicle mounted on runners for use on ice and snow," 1703, American and Canadian English, from Dutch slee, shortened from slede (see sled (n.)). As a verb from 1728. Related: Sleighing. Sleigh-ride is first recorded 1770; sleigh-bells is from c.1780; they originally were used to give warning of the approach of a sleigh.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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