• synonyms


[hwif-uh l-tree, wif-]
noun Northern U.S.
  1. a crossbar, pivoted at the middle, to which the traces of a harness are fastened for pulling a cart, carriage, plow, etc.
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Compare doubletree.

Origin of whiffletree

First recorded in 1820–30; variant of whippletree
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for whiffletree

Historical Examples

  • The pole was snapped, and the whiffletree smashed, so that the traces were useless.

    The La Chance Mine Mystery

    Susan Carleton Jones

  • "It's the whiffletree, I think," she said, as if she were used to wagons.

    The La Chance Mine Mystery

    Susan Carleton Jones

  • The whiffletree is attached to the tumbling rod by an iron hook.

    Farm Mechanics

    Herbert A. Shearer

  • The whiffletree would swing round and hit them, and when their collars were taken off, their necks would be raw and bloody.

    Beautiful Joe

    Marshall Saunders

  • Where the gray mare is the better horse, her mate always lets up a bit on his whiffletree and she draws most of the load.

British Dictionary definitions for whiffletree


  1. another name (esp US) for swingletree
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Word Origin

C19: variant of whippletree
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