verb (used with object), sad·dled, sad·dling.

verb (used without object), sad·dled, sad·dling.

to put a saddle on a horse (often followed by up).
to mount into the saddle (often followed by up).


    in the saddle,
    1. in a position to direct or command; in control.
    2. at work; on the job.

Origin of saddle

before 900; (noun) Middle English sadel, Old English sadol; cognate with German Sattel, Old Norse sǫthull; (v.) Middle English sad(e)len, Old English sadolian, derivative of the noun; akin to sit1
Related formssad·dle·less, adjectivesad·dle·like, adjectivere·sad·dle, verb, re·sad·dled, re·sad·dling. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

British Dictionary definitions for in the saddle



a seat for a rider, usually made of leather, placed on a horse's back and secured with a girth under the belly
a similar seat on a bicycle, tractor, etc, made of leather or steel
a back pad forming part of the harness of a packhorse
anything that resembles a saddle in shape, position, or function
a cut of meat, esp mutton, consisting of part of the backbone and both loins
the part of a horse or similar animal on which a saddle is placed
the part of the back of a domestic chicken that is nearest to the tail
civil engineering a block on top of one of the towers of a suspension bridge that acts as a bearing surface over which the cables or chains pass
engineering the carriage that slides on the bed of a lathe and supports the slide rest, tool post, or turret
the nontechnical name for clitellum
another name for col (def. 1)
a raised piece of wood or metal for covering a doorsill
in the saddle in a position of control


(sometimes foll by up) to put a saddle on (a horse)
(intr) to mount into the saddle
(tr) to burden; chargeI didn't ask to be saddled with this job
Derived Formssaddleless, adjectivesaddle-like, adjective

Word Origin for saddle

Old English sadol, sædel; related to Old Norse sothull, Old High German satul
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

Word Origin and History for in the saddle



Old English sadol "seat for a rider," from Proto-Germanic *sathulaz (cf. Old Norse söðull, Old Frisian sadel, Dutch zadel, zaal, German Sattel "saddle"), from PIE *sed- (1) "to sit" (cf. Latin sedere "to sit," Old Church Slavonic sedlo "saddle;" see sedentary). Figurative phrase in the saddle "in an active position of management" is attested from 1650s. Saddle stitch (n.) was originally in bookbinding (1887).



Old English sadolian "to put a riding saddle on;" see saddle (n.). The meaning "to load with a burden" is first recorded 1690s. Related: Saddled; saddling.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

in the saddle in Medicine




A structure shaped like a saddle.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

Idioms and Phrases with in the saddle

in the saddle

see in the driver's seat.


In addition to the idiom beginning with saddle

  • saddle someone with

also see:

  • in the driver's seat (saddle)
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.