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[lej] /lɛdʒ/
a relatively narrow, projecting part, as a horizontal, shelflike projection on a wall or a raised edge on a tray.
a more or less flat shelf of rock protruding from a cliff or slope.
a reef, ridge, or line of rocks in the sea or other body of water.
  1. a layer or mass of rock underground.
  2. a lode or vein.
Carpentry. a member similar to but larger than a cleat.
Shipbuilding. a minor transverse deck beam running between regular deck beams to form part of a coaming.
verb (used with object), ledged, ledging.
to assemble (a door or the like) with ledges.
1300-50; Middle English legge, perhaps derivative of leggen to lay1; compare Middle High German legge layer, edge, Old English lecg part of a weapon
Related forms
ledgeless, adjective
unledged, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for ledges
  • The kids need to be kept from being run over and falling off ledges.
  • They whitewash ledges and pick at filthy crumbs in the gutter.
  • Many buildings downtown have ledges about eight feet or so above the ground.
  • They weld metal knobs to ledges and put concrete planters or poles at the bottom of handrails.
  • The urine-rich middens, which need to be chipped off with power tools, are in caves and under rock ledges.
  • The only way for us to reach the island was to swim from the skiff through surf breaking on coral ledges.
  • There are thousands of them clustered around, on ledges and along stone paths and stairways.
  • Ask the music-biz professionals, if you can talk them off the ledges outside their offices.
  • The high spots on the ledges that are solid, they'll start staging up and grouping up on those.
  • Each channel consists of a small steel ledge on either side, designed so that a box can rest between and upon two of these ledges.
British Dictionary definitions for ledges


a narrow horizontal surface resembling a shelf and projecting from a wall, window, etc
a layer of rock that contains an ore; vein
a ridge of rock that lies beneath the surface of the sea
a narrow shelflike rock projection on a cliff or mountain
Derived Forms
ledgy, ledged, adjective
Word Origin
C14 legge, perhaps from leggen to lay1
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for ledges



late 13c., "crossbar on a door," perhaps from Middle English verb leggen "to place, lay" (see lay (v.)). Sense of "narrow shelf" is first recorded 1550s; "shelf-like projection of rock" is from 1550s.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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