Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. Upper Northern U.S. See whiffletree. See Regional Note at whiffletree.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. a wooden crossbar for a plough or carriage, pivoted in the middle, from which traces are fastened to a draught animal

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. The pivoted or swinging bar to which the traces, or tugs, of a harness are fastened, and by which a carriage, a plow, or other implement or vehicle, is drawn; a whiffletree; a swingletree; a singletree. See Singletree.
  • n. The cornel tree.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. Same as whiffle tree.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. a crossbar that is attached to the traces of a draft horse and to the vehicle or implement that the horse is pulling

Etymologies

Perhaps blend of dialectal whippin, whippletree and swingletree.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)

Examples

  • The colter needed sharpening and there was a crack in the whippletree.

    The Boat of a Million Years

  • After three quarters of an hour or so I was suddenly startled alert by hearing the squeak-squeak of a whippletree out on the lawn.

    The Four Pools Mystery

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