• Sledge


    • IPA: /slɛdʒ/
    • Rhymes: -ɛdʒ

    Origin 1

    Old English slecg.

    Full definition of sledge



    (plural sledges)
    1. A heavy, long handled maul or hammer used to drive stakes, wedges, etc.
      • 1737, J. Ray, A Collection of English Words Not Generally Used, With their Significations and Original in two Alphabetical Catalogues; the one, of such as are proper to the Northern, the other, to the Southern Counties. With an Account of the preparing and refining such Metals and Minerals as are found in England''.on information from Major Hill, Master of the Silver Mills, in 1662, descibing silver mining in Cardiganshire They dig the Oar thus; One holds a little Picque, or Punch of Iron, having a long Handle of Wood which they call a Gad; Another with a great Iron Hammer, or Sledge, drives it into the Vein.
      • 2006, Tom Benford, Garage And Workshop Gear GuideSledge hammers are only used for heavy-duty persuading when working on vehicles or machinery.



    1. to hit with a sledgehammer.
      • 1842, John O'Donovan, The Banquet of Dun Na N-Gedh and The Battle of Magh Rath: An Ancient and Historical TaleThe rapid and violent exertion of smiths, mightily sledging the glowing iron masses of their furnaces.
      • 2005, Langdon W Moore, Langdon W. Moore: His Own Story of His Eventful LifeWhen I inquired the reason of this wire being used in the construction of the safe, I was told it was to prevent the doors being broken by either sledging or wedging.

    Origin 2

    Dialectal Dutch sleedse



    (plural sledges)
    1. A low sled drawn by animals, typically on snow, ice or grass.The sledge ran far better upon the ice, I cannot say the same for the dogs.
    2. (British) any type of sled or sleigh.
      • 1708, F. C. F. Conyers, Compleat Collier: Or, The Whole Art of Sinking, Getting, and Working, Coal-mines about Sunderland and New-CastleAged wore out Coal-Horses, which after some time Wrought you will have, may serve turn for Sledge-Horses.
      • 1716, Myles Davies, Athenae Britannicae: Or, A Critical History of the Oxford and Cambridge Writers And Writings...Part I full title stretches for 70 words reporting a passage in "Nicholas Sanders's Seditious Pamphlet" De Schismate Anglicano, &c (1585)Ty'd upon the Sledge, a Papist and a Protestant in front, being two very disparate and antipathetick Companions, was a very ridiculous Science of Cruelty, even worst than Death it self (says he).
      • 2006, Richard Higgins, Peter Brukner, Bryan English (editors), Essential Sports MedicineThere are also Winter Paralympic Games with Alpine and Nordic events, as well as sledge hockey - a form of ice hockey using a seated sledge.
      • 2006, Pete Draper, Deconstructing the Elements With 3ds Max: Create Natural Fire, Earth, Air and Water Without Plug-InsFor anyone who can recall their schooldays, when you used to get snow every winter, flying down hills on a polythene bag the thickness of an atom, and a lovely old sledge your Grandpa made for you (the only Christmas it DIDN'T snow),...
    3. A card game resembling all fours and seven-up; old sledge.


    1. To drag or draw a sledge.
      • 1860, Sherard Osborn, The career, last voyage and fate of ... Sir John FranklinIt should be remembered, that these explorations were nearly all made by our seamen and officers on foot, dragging sledges, on which were piled tents, provision, fuel for cooking, and raiment. This sledging was brought to perfection by Captain M'Clintock.
      • 2004, Andy Selters, Ways to the Sky: A Historical Guide to North American MountaineeringSledging en route to Mt. Logan on the 1925 first ascent. to photo of four men dragging a sledge
    2. To ride, travel with or transport in a sledge.
      • 1811, Maria Edgeworth, Popular TalesHe was also to initiate me in the American pastime of sleighing, or sledging.
      • 1860, John Timbs, School-days of Eminent Men: I. Sketches of the Progress of Education in England, from the Reign of King AlfredWhen "the great fen or moor" which washed the city walls on the north was frozen over, sliding, sledging, and skating were the sports of crowds.
      • 2006, Godfrey (EDT) Baldacchino, Extreme Tourism: Lessons from the World's Cold Water IslandsSome of these may be closely associated with the day-to-day lifestyle of such communities — marine activities (fishing, wildlife viewing), mountain activities (abseiling, climbing, hunting) or winter sports (dog sledging).

    Origin 3

    From Sledge ("a surname"), influenced by sledgehammer. Australian from 1960s.

    According to Ian Chappell, originated in Adelaide during the 1963/4 or 1964/5 season. A cricketer who swore in the presence of a woman was taken to be as subtle as a sledgehammer (meaning unsubtle) and was called “Percy” or “Sledge”, from singer (whose song When a Man Loves a Woman was a hit at the time). Directing insults or obsenities at the opposition team then became known as sledging.

    1999, Graham Seal, The Lingo: Listening to Australian English, University of New South Wales Press, ISBN 086840-680-5, page 141.


    1. (chiefly cricket, Australian) To verbally insult or abuse an opponent in order to distract them (considered unsportsmanlike).
      • 1998, Larry Elliott, Daniel E Atkinson, The Age of InsecurityBatteries of fast bowlers softened batsmen up with short-pitched bowling, while fielders tried to disturb their concentration with a running commentary of insults commonly known as sledging.
      • 2004, Dhanjoo N. Ghista, Socio-Economic Democracy and the World Government: Collective Capitalism, Depovertization, Human Rights, Template for Sustainable PeaceThen, all these...government legislators...would be able to totally concentrate on their roles and functions, without being entangled in interparty sledging and squabbles.
      • 2005, David Fraser, Cricket and the Law: The Man in White Is Always RightThe 2000 Code of the Laws of Cricket includes new anti-sledging provisions.


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