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early 14c., "a dragged vehicle used for transport of heavy goods," from Middle Dutch sledde "sled," from Proto-Germanic *slid- (cf. Old Saxon slido, Old Norse sleði, Danish slæde, Swedish släde, Old High German slito, German Schlitten "sledge"), from the same root as Old English slidan (see slide (v.)). Not found in Old English. In reference to a sleigh used for travel or recreation, it is attested from 1580s, now mainly American English.
"transport on a sled," 1718; "ride on a sled," 1780, from sled (n.). Related: Sledded; sledding.
vehicle usually drawn by either horses or dogs over ice or snow in winter. Its predecessor, the sledge, in the form of the travois and the sidecar, is believed to have been the first vehicle used by humans.