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[tuh-bog-uh n] /təˈbɒg ən/
a long, narrow, flat-bottomed sled made of a thin board curved upward and backward at the front, often with low handrails on the sides, used especially in the sport of coasting over snow or ice.
verb (used without object)
to use, or coast on, a toboggan.
to fall rapidly, as prices or one's fortune.
Origin of toboggan
1820-30; < Maliseet-Passamaquoddy tʰapákən, Micmac topaĝan (equivalent to Proto-Algonquian *weta·pye·- to drag a cord + *-kan- instrument for)
Related forms
tobogganer, tobogganist, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for toboggan
Historical Examples
  • So running up to the top and seating myself on the toboggan I set it in motion.

  • So steep is the descent that it may be compared to a Canadian toboggan slide.

    Aztec Land Maturin M. Ballou
  • He struck the toboggan and he went down with an awful thump.

    Frank Merriwell's Pursuit Burt L. Standish
  • The wet thaw of mid-day had frozen and the road was slippery as a toboggan slide.

    Lords of the North A. C. Laut
  • And will you tell me how they get back to the moon after they slide down the toboggan?

    Rootabaga Stories Carl Sandburg
  • We would get on our toboggan, a boy would give us a shove, and off we went!

    Story of My Life Helen Keller
  • In the dark, Nelly crept to the crooked tree, dragging the toboggan after her.

    Silver Lake R.M. Ballantyne
  • The boy removed the rifle from the toboggan and threw a shell into the chamber.

  • "We wanted some real ice on the toboggan slide," explained Ted.

  • And I hope there'll be ice on the toboggan slide in the morning!

British Dictionary definitions for toboggan


a light wooden frame on runners used for sliding over snow and ice
a long narrow sledge made of a thin board curved upwards and backwards at the front
verb -gans, -ganing, -ganed
(intransitive) to ride on a toboggan
Derived Forms
tobogganer, tobogganist, noun
Word Origin
C19: from Canadian French, from Algonquian; related to Abnaki udābāgan
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 toboggan

"long, flat-bottomed sled," 1829, from Canadian French tabagane, from Algonquian (probably Micmac) tobakun "a sled." The verb is recorded from 1846. As American English colloquial for a type of long woolen cap, it is recorded from 1929 (earlier toboggan cap, 1928), presumably because one wore such a cap while tobogganing.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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