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See more synonyms for ledge on Thesaurus.com
  1. a relatively narrow, projecting part, as a horizontal, shelflike projection on a wall or a raised edge on a tray.
  2. a more or less flat shelf of rock protruding from a cliff or slope.
  3. a reef, ridge, or line of rocks in the sea or other body of water.
  4. Mining.
    1. a layer or mass of rock underground.
    2. a lode or vein.
  5. Carpentry. a member similar to but larger than a cleat.
  6. Shipbuilding. a minor transverse deck beam running between regular deck beams to form part of a coaming.
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verb (used with object), ledged, ledg·ing.
  1. to assemble (a door or the like) with ledges.
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Origin of ledge

1300–50; Middle English legge, perhaps derivative of leggen to lay1; compare Middle High German legge layer, edge, Old English lecg part of a weapon
Related formsledge·less, adjectiveun·ledged, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for ledge

rim, ridge, berm, sill, bar, reef, mantle, track, route, console, offset, bench, trail, step, edge, jut, way, strip, tier, path

Examples from the Web for ledge

Contemporary Examples of ledge

Historical Examples of ledge

  • The guillemot makes no nest, merely laying a single egg on a ledge.

  • I cried out, and in a foolish effort to save him, I must have let go of the ledge to which I clung.

    The Trail Book

    Mary Austin

  • The man who lay on the ledge of the grating was even chilled.

    Little Dorrit

    Charles Dickens

  • I said: "Is that a ledge out in the field where sumachs and birches are growing?"

  • The Major's folded arms dropped off the ledge, as if they had been suddenly paralyzed.

    Henry Dunbar

    M. E. Braddon

British Dictionary definitions for ledge


  1. a narrow horizontal surface resembling a shelf and projecting from a wall, window, etc
  2. a layer of rock that contains an ore; vein
  3. a ridge of rock that lies beneath the surface of the sea
  4. a narrow shelflike rock projection on a cliff or mountain
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Derived Formsledgy or ledged, adjective

Word Origin for ledge

C14 legge, perhaps from leggen to lay 1
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 ledge


late 13c., "crossbar on a door," perhaps from Middle English verb leggen "to place, lay" (see lay (v.)). Sense of "narrow shelf" is first recorded 1550s; "shelf-like projection of rock" is from 1550s.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper