a light vehicle on runners, usually open and generally horse-drawn, used especially for transporting persons over snow or ice.
a sled.

verb (used without object)

to travel or ride in a sleigh.

Origin of sleigh

1690–1700, Americanism; < Dutch slee, variant of slede sled; cf. slide
Related formssleigh·er, noun
Can be confusedsled sledge sleigh



noun, verb (used with object)


or slay, sleigh


noun, plural sleys.

the reed of a loom.
the warp count in woven fabrics.
British. the lay of a loom.

verb (used with object)

to draw (warp ends) through the heddle eyes of the harness or through the dents of the reed in accordance with a given plan for weaving a fabric.

Origin of sley

before 1050; Middle English sleye, Old English slege weaver's reed; akin to Dutch slag, German Schlag, Old Norse slag, Gothic slahs a blow; see slay Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Related Words for sleigh

toboggan, bobsled, sledge, dogsled, luge

Examples from the Web for sleigh

Contemporary Examples of sleigh

Historical Examples of sleigh

  • The light of that speech was in her eyes when she went out to the sleigh again.


    Mary Roberts Rinehart

  • He was throwing back the robe to leap from the sleigh when the figure reached him.

    Tiverton Tales

    Alice Brown

  • On the 10th of March, 1809, the sleigh and its load entered Cleveland.

  • After Dan's departure in the sleigh, Tom wandered about restlessly.

  • The sleigh was far in advance, and there were no witnesses on the white topped hills.

British Dictionary definitions for sleigh



another name for sledge 1 (def. 1)


(intr) to travel by sleigh
Derived Formssleigher, noun

Word Origin for sleigh

C18: from Dutch slee, variant of slede sledge 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 sleigh

"vehicle mounted on runners for use on ice and snow," 1703, American and Canadian English, from Dutch slee, shortened from slede (see sled (n.)). As a verb from 1728. Related: Sleighing. Sleigh-ride is first recorded 1770; sleigh-bells is from c.1780; they originally were used to give warning of the approach of a sleigh.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper