from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun A vehicle mounted on runners drawn by work animals, such as horses or dogs, and used for transporting loads across ice, snow, and rough ground.
  • transitive & intransitive verb To convey or travel on a sledge.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun A large heavy hammer, used chiefly by blacksmiths. Also called sledge-hammer.
  • noun Same as sled, 1 and 2.
  • noun A vehicle without wheels, commonly on runners and of various forms, much used in northern countries where ice and snow prevail; a sleigh: as, a reindeer sledge; an Eskimo sledge. In the United States sledge is not used in this sense. See sleigh, and cut under pulk.
  • noun Hence, anything serving the purpose of a vehicle which may be dragged without wheels along the ground, as the hurdle on which persons were formerly drawn to execution.
  • noun Same as sled, 2.
  • noun In heraldry, a bearing representing a heavy vehicle with runners like a sledge.
  • To convey or transports, in a sledge; travel in a sledge.
  • noun The thick wooden outer case of a mummy.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun A large, heavy hammer, usually wielded with both hands; -- called also sledge hammer.
  • noun A strong vehicle with low runners or low wheels; or one without wheels or runners, made of plank slightly turned up at one end, used for transporting loads upon the snow, ice, or bare ground; a sled.
  • noun engraving A hurdle on which, formerly, traitors were drawn to the place of execution.
  • noun engraving A sleigh.
  • noun A game at cards; -- called also old sledge, and all fours.
  • verb To travel or convey in a sledge or sledges.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun A heavy, long handled maul or hammer used to drive stakes, wedges, etc.
  • verb to hit with a sledgehammer.
  • noun A low sled drawn by animals, typically on snow, ice or grass.
  • noun UK any type of sled or sleigh.
  • verb To drag or draw a sledge.
  • verb To ride, travel with or transport in a sledge.
  • verb Australia To verbally insult or abuse an opponent in order to distract them (considered unsportsmanlike).

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

  • noun a heavy long-handled hammer used to drive stakes or wedges
  • verb transport in a sleigh
  • verb ride in or travel with a sledge
  • noun a vehicle mounted on runners and pulled by horses or dogs; for transportation over snow
  • verb beat with a sledgehammer


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

[Dutch dialectal sleedse, perhaps diminutive of Dutch slede, sled, from Middle Dutch sledde.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

Old English slecg.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

Dialectal Dutch sleedse

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Sledge ("a surname"), influenced by sledgehammer. Australian from 1960s. According to Ian Chappell, originated in Adelaide during the 1963/4 or 1964/5 Sheffield Shield 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 Percy Sledge (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.



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  • Cricket jargon - to verbally abuse an opponent, generally for the purpose of upsetting their concentration. Sledging is not a recent habit. Back in 1933, Harold Larwood said 'A cricket tour in Australia would be a most delightful period in one's life if one were deaf'.

    November 30, 2007