Definition of ledge in English:



  • 1A narrow horizontal surface projecting from a wall, cliff, or other surface.

    ‘he heaved himself up over a ledge’
    • ‘Cypseloidine swifts build nests with moss and lichen on ledges near or behind waterfalls and will sometimes re-use nests.’
    • ‘The water droplets that remain on surfaces leave mineral deposits that form little ledges that collect more mineral deposits and scum each time the shower is used.’
    • ‘They require a combination of rocky ledges or canyons and open, shrubby areas.’
    • ‘Will had somehow grabbed a small ledge about twenty feet down.’
    • ‘The other is that developers have found that there is a great public demand for traditional devices such as planters, bay windows and shading ledges.’
    • ‘Next month we'll look at those tricky double ledges where a second ledge is close behind the first.’
    • ‘The dim light in the small dark room was provided by the hundreds of low candles that sat on a stone ledge that ran the length of the room.’
    • ‘Then, they had left the healing room and resolved to take a stroll down in the gardens, where they had stopped near a spring and sat down on one of the stone ledges.’
    • ‘Something has happened to them and they're trapped under a ledge near the road about five miles from here.’
    • ‘It has a rich and varied flora due to a combination of limestone ledges and limey soils, and separate areas of non-limy glacial deposits.’
    • ‘They both know what an eerie feeling it must have been for rescuer and rescued, as they listened for those dislodged stones to hit a ledge or plunge into the water.’
    • ‘Nearby rock ledges had Asplenium rutamuraria, Pellaea atropurpurea, and other ferns typical of the habitat, and the foliage of Clematis occidentalis was noted.’
    • ‘It had stone tiling, and a stone ledge, and there was a roof entrance more or less in the center with a door heading down to, most likely, steps.’
    • ‘A scene of peace greeted me as I sat near the ledge of the platform outside.’
    • ‘Roasting-spits leaned against the hearth; rows of wine-jars stood on a ledge near the low door.’
    • ‘They breed on narrow cliff ledges in the far north.’
    • ‘Its unnatural appearance makes it standout from the usual desert rocks, ledges, trees, and hills.’
    • ‘I fell to the floor and rolled beneath the ledge of the cabinet.’
    • ‘I look past them, at the blackened edges of a curb, the smooth marble of a ledge, the angle of a rail.’
    • ‘Both canvases are baskets of fruit grapes, pears and plums, and lemons and cherries - painted with various vessels and vegetables on a stone ledge.’
    shelf, sill, mantel, mantelpiece, mantelshelf, shelving
    projection, protrusion, overhang, extension, ridge, step, prominence, spur, jut, bulge, flange
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    1. 1.1A window ledge.
      • ‘My daughter was perched on the ledge by the window.’
      • ‘Contrast this with an ancient-looking structure which has copper sulphate-blue windows with ledges in deep red!’
      • ‘I grabbed the ledge of the window and hoisted myself up onto the roof.’
      • ‘In order to optimize the utilization of space, the architect added a huge window with a ledge that can double as a seat when opened.’
      • ‘She hopped off the ledge of the window and drew back the curtains.’
      • ‘At times, I am a little worried about my cat being indoors all of the time, but I have fairly low windows with ledges that I keep open all year that she monopolizes for her fresh air and bird watching.’
      • ‘Outside, a gangplank had been let out from the side of the ship to the ledge below the window, and the group were preparing to cross.’
      • ‘April jumped up and grabbed the ledge of a window above the gym.’
      • ‘Failing to open a top window I climbed up onto the ledge of the bottom window and tried reaching for the latch.’
      • ‘He had to climb out of the window onto the next ledge to get away from the fire.’
      • ‘Thyme, oregano, basil, tarragon, and parsley are all likely contenders for windows with ledges at nose height.’
      • ‘They're sitting on a small ledge on the window, the jade and the two cacti.’
      • ‘Window ledges and front stoops become mini gardens.’
      • ‘Window ledges were adorned with white roses and guests were led to their appropriate seats.’
      • ‘And while she empties the black water out of the bucket to refill it for the next room, she can see a crow come to rest on the ledge of the window.’
      • ‘I quickly got onto the ledge of the window and jumped.’
      • ‘Set tile on window seats and ledges, buffet counters and other places to create waterproof areas to set plants.’
      • ‘He leaned in slightly as his palms pressed against the ledge of the window.’
      • ‘She thrust one hand through the window, gripping the ledge inside, and heard a soft grunt of surprise as her fingers grazed softness.’
      • ‘Her other hand was scrabbling over the ledge in the broad window sill.’
  • 2An underwater ridge, especially of rocks beneath the sea near the shore.

    ‘a reef ledge’
    • ‘They stay close to the bottom, in caves and under ledges in coral reefs and lagoons.’
    • ‘Near Australia, catsharks have been observed inhabiting ledges and caves, seagrass or kelp beds, coastal reefs, and both sandy and rocky bottoms.’
    • ‘The steel of the wreck, the cargo of pig iron and the ledges of rock are all covered in a dense red kelp, making it difficult to tell just where wreck or cargo ends and the reef continues.’
    • ‘An interesting occupant of the rock's ledges is the crawfish.’
    • ‘Target the bottom of the near ledge with caster or worm over chopped worm.’
    • ‘Schools of true giant bluefin tuna also swam past these rock ledges and although many were hooked, none were ever landed, although in 1973 the national record of 384 kgs was landed from a boat in the same bay.’
    • ‘There are also several green moray eels along the reef ledge.’
    • ‘Even without the wreck it would be a good dive, as there is plenty of colourful marine life beneath overhanging ledges.’
    • ‘The water rushed over and around the smooth stones and rock ledges that made up the creek bed, making small leaps and splashes, and murmuring constantly.’
    • ‘Lightbulb sea squirts, common brittlestars, featherstars of various colours, and northern prawns survey diving passers-by from their rock crevices and ledges.’
    • ‘Most parrotfishes seek out caves and ledges in the reef for protection at night, but parrotfishes in the genus Cryptotomus bury themselves in the sand like wrasses.’
    • ‘We swim along a series of shallow ledges that run below the shore line, 3-7m deep.’
    • ‘Our second dive is the almost traditional Sussex coast inshore drift, some shallow chalky ledges at Sailor Rock.’
    • ‘There are really two sites here: a plateau and wall north of the rock, and shallower ledges to the south and south-west of it.’
    • ‘Cleaner wrasses set up cleaning stations near rocks or under ledges on the reef.’
    • ‘My buddy enthusiastically pointed out a lobster beneath a ledge, as well as a miniature version that was only about 3cm long!’
    • ‘Turtles rest on the reef top or on ledges beneath coral overhangs, though they can often be seen cruising along the reef edge.’
    sandbank, shoal, bank, shallow, reef, ridge, shelf
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  • 3Mining
    A stratum of metal- or ore-bearing rock; a vein of quartz or other mineral.

    • ‘They were only cobbles and small, irregular outcrops, not large ledges of obviously layered strata.’
    • ‘Claims in the Gilman area to the north of Red Cliff were being developed on steeply dipping veins in granite and on gently dipping ledges in both quartzite and dolomite.’


Middle English (denoting a strip of wood or other material fixed across a door, gate, etc.): perhaps from an early form of lay. ledge dates from the mid 16th century.