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

Examples from the Web for saddle

Contemporary Examples of saddle

Historical Examples of saddle

  • Stephen caught the bridle, and Ambrose helped the burgess into the saddle.

    The Armourer's Prentices

    Charlotte M. Yonge

  • He leaned over the saddle and spurred the pinto into his racing gait.

  • Andy turned in the saddle and grinned back at the followers.

  • Then, still softly and swiftly, he lifted the saddle from its peg and put it on its back.

  • "Give me three minutes to get my saddle on my horse and out of town," said Andrew.

British Dictionary definitions for 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 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

Medicine definitions for saddle




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 saddle


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.