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sad·dle (sădl)
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n.
1.
a. A leather seat for a rider, secured on an animal's back by a girth. Also called regionally rig.
b. Similar tack used for attaching a pack to an animal.
c. The padded part of a driving harness fitting over a horse's back.
d. The seat of a bicycle, motorcycle, or similar vehicle.
e. Something shaped like a saddle.
2.
a. A cut of meat consisting of part of the backbone and both loins.
b. The lower part of a male fowl's back.
3.
a. A saddle-shaped depression in the ridge of a hill.
b. A ridge between two peaks.
4. See cricket4.
v. sad·dled, sad·dling, sad·dles
v.tr.
1. To put a saddle onto.
2. To load or burden; encumber: They were saddled with heavy expenses.
v.intr.
1. To saddle a horse.
2. To get into a saddle; mount a horse. Often used with up.
Idiom:
in the saddle
1. Prevailing or in control; dominant: "The crisis [in Russia] came to a head when the American-backed reformers were in the saddle" (Michael R. Gordon).
2. Engaged in an activity, especially a job: back in the saddle after a leave of absence from work.

[Middle English sadel, from Old English sadol; see sed- in the Appendix of Indo-European roots.]
(click for a larger image)
saddle
English saddle

The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2017 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
 

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