American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
- n. See whiffletree.
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. A cross-bar, pivoted at the middle, to which the traces are fastened in a cart, carriage, plow, etc. From
singletree, a corruption of swingletree, arose the name doubletree for the equalizing-bar to which a pair of animals is hitched by means of a pair of swingletrees, each center-bolted and swinging freely like the doubletree itself. The extent of swing of the doubletree is generally limited by a chain or strap passing to the fore axle on each side. The swingletree gives freedom of alternating action to the shoulders of the horse, and also prevents that motion from being communicated to the vehicle. In the case of the doubletree it further correlates and equalizes the traction of the two animals composing the team. Also swingtree, whiffletree.
- n. a whippletree
GNU Webster's 1913
- n. A whiffletree, or whippletree. See singletree.
- n. a crossbar that is attached to the traces of a draft horse and to the vehicle or implement that the horse is pulling
- From English swingle, wooden instrument used for beating flax, from Middle English, from Middle Dutch swinghel. (American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
“The mare crashed into the rockaway on one side and the bay shattered the swingletree on the other with the forewheel of our buggy.”
“I sat in the buggy, holding the reins over the trembling, wild-eyed bay, while William descended and, with great dignity, tied up the disabled swingletree.”
“The string was led off by a pair of steady leaders, hitched by a swingletree to the end of the picket rope, the whole thus presenting a team of about twelve or fifteen pairs of horses.”
“Well, onct ole Hank Swartzman swatted him over the head with a swingletree.”
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