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.
verb (used with object), ledged, ledg·ing.
  1. to assemble (a door or the like) with ledges.

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

Examples from the Web for ledging

Historical Examples of ledging

  • Ledging the lid crossways on the coffin, he placed his hand gently upon Camilla's brow.


    Arnold Bennett

British Dictionary definitions for ledging


  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
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 ledging



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.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper