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[tuh-bog-uh n] /təˈbɒg ən/
a long, narrow, flat-bottomed sled made of a thin board curved upward and backward at the front, often with low handrails on the sides, used especially in the sport of coasting over snow or ice.
verb (used without object)
to use, or coast on, a toboggan.
to fall rapidly, as prices or one's fortune.
Origin of toboggan
1820-30; < Maliseet-Passamaquoddy tʰapákən, Micmac topaĝan (equivalent to Proto-Algonquian *weta·pye·- to drag a cord + *-kan- instrument for)
Related forms
tobogganer, tobogganist, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for toboggan
Historical Examples
  • And will you tell me how they get back to the moon after they slide down the toboggan?

    Rootabaga Stories Carl Sandburg
  • So running up to the top and seating myself on the toboggan I set it in motion.

  • "Thirty-two rabbits and two lynx," counted Connie as they loaded the toboggan.

  • So steep is the descent that it may be compared to a Canadian toboggan slide.

    Aztec Land Maturin M. Ballou
  • Motioning with his arm, 'Merican Joe led off down the slope and Connie followed, holding weakly to the tail rope of his toboggan.

  • In the dark, Nelly crept to the crooked tree, dragging the toboggan after her.

    Silver Lake R.M. Ballantyne
  • A sickening nausea overtook Shad, and he sank upon his toboggan, faint and dizzy with an overpowering weakness.

    The Gaunt Gray Wolf Dillon Wallace
  • The boy removed the rifle from the toboggan and threw a shell into the chamber.

  • Came to see if Lady Rhoda wouldn't come and toboggan down the big staircase on a tea-tray.

    Lyre and Lancet F. Anstey
  • "Don't let Trouble come out when we're on the toboggan," begged Ted.

British Dictionary definitions for toboggan


a light wooden frame on runners used for sliding over snow and ice
a long narrow sledge made of a thin board curved upwards and backwards at the front
verb -gans, -ganing, -ganed
(intransitive) to ride on a toboggan
Derived Forms
tobogganer, tobogganist, noun
Word Origin
C19: from Canadian French, from Algonquian; related to Abnaki udābāgan
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 toboggan

"long, flat-bottomed sled," 1829, from Canadian French tabagane, from Algonquian (probably Micmac) tobakun "a sled." The verb is recorded from 1846. As American English colloquial for a type of long woolen cap, it is recorded from 1929 (earlier toboggan cap, 1928), presumably because one wore such a cap while tobogganing.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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