[ hwif-uhl-tree, wif- ]

nounNorthern 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.

Origin of whiffletree

First recorded in 1820–30; variant of whippletree

Words Nearby whiffletree

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use whiffletree in a sentence

  • 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
  • This wore away at last and on the third day I had no difficulty in keeping up my end of the whiffletree.

  • Twelve “Swingle trees” (whippletree, whiffletree, singletree) are listed in the inventory.

  • Page 169, illustration caption: "probaby" changed to "probably" (b, chain, probably from whiffletree).

  • The only way they feel comfortable is when harnessed with the face toward the whiffletree and their back to the end of the shafts.

    Around The Tea-Table | T. De Witt Talmage

British Dictionary definitions for whiffletree


/ (ˈwɪfəlˌtriː) /

  1. another name (esp US) for swingletree

Origin of whiffletree

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