Definition of toboggan in English:



  • A long, light, narrow vehicle, typically on runners, used for sliding downhill over snow or ice.

    • ‘Two smaller toboggans carried the rest of the gear.’
    • ‘Rumour circulated the next day that some intrepids ventured up to the top of Bourke Street with toboggans in a midnight mission.’
    • ‘I always used to walk across the lake, skate on it, and even pull toboggans across it…’
    • ‘This is the skeleton, so called because of the distinct appearance of the first metal toboggans.’
    • ‘The day of the party promises mittens and hats, mufflers and ski pants, toboggans and sleds.’
    • ‘Fred tells him that he is interested in toboggans.’
    • ‘We then load the blocks onto toboggans, haul them to the ice house, and stack and pack them with sawdust on all sides.’
    • ‘At Pelican Creek, the men unhitched the dogs, rolled up their pants, took off their boots, picked up the toboggan with the calves, and waded across.’
    • ‘However, it is not yet clear if the New Year will start on a sufficiently white note to allow children in the Republic to dust off their snowboards and toboggans.’
    • ‘To stand on the footbridges that straddle the Run and look up the ice as riders on toboggans hurtle head-first beneath your feet at speeds of 120 km/h or better is to be awed by the boundlessness of human folly.’
    • ‘Next was on a toboggan: ‘Beware: sled may develop high speed under certain snow conditions.’’
    • ‘Bring an inner-tube or a roll-up toboggan or something, so if the pigs show up you can pull a fancy Batman escape, zipping down the east face, giggling like an imp.’
    • ‘In snow, it drove like a toboggan, but with worse steering.’
    • ‘Beyond a small circle of knuckle draggers with a death wish, will aircraft-grade aluminum toboggans and such sell?’
    • ‘Then, my daughter slid off the toboggan head first into a snow bank, and when I pulled her out she took from her mouth her first missing tooth.’
    • ‘What finally remains of the peaks of Monument Valley when the world goes to sleep, as men depart on their toboggans to live in the suburbs?’
    • ‘We have a moment to relax before joining a group for our evening activity - ‘bum sliding’ down the pistes on tiny toboggans.’
    • ‘They were digging holes to make ramps for their toboggans and causing serious damage.’
    • ‘The camp appeared kind of unearthly from a short distance away - two tiny bright yellow pyramid tents, four wooden sledges, and two shining orange toboggans in a vast sea of white, dwarfed by the awesome, dark brown brooding mountains.’
    • ‘They brought him down the mountain on a toboggan.’


[no object]usually go tobogganing
  • Slide downhill over snow on a toboggan.

    ‘my kids love to go tobogganing in the park before Christmas dinner’
    ‘we tobogganed down a steep hill nearby’
    • ‘I went tobogganing with my sister and her friend, using those big industrial plastic sacks as sledges.’
    • ‘The actress let out a scream as she tobogganed down a hill at the ski resort of Banff in Alberta, Canada.’
    • ‘We went to New Hampshire for a long winter party weekend and at some point one evening decided to toboggan down the empty ski slope before the sun set.’
    • ‘Chuck a few snowballs around, maybe make a snowman, go tobogganing - all good fun.’
    • ‘Go tobogganing: If skiing, boarding or snowmobiling are simply beyond your means, go find a cardboard box and a hill.’
    • ‘The three of us spent four weeks touring around Europe, ending up with friends in Austria, making snow men and tobogganing down the slopes!’
    • ‘As the country was gripped by cold, children and adults were snowballing and tobogganing.’
    • ‘On the first snow day of the school year, Angelo phoned Squire and asked if he wanted to join him and his brothers tobogganing at the state park which had a good sledding hill.’
    • ‘There were a group of older kids tobogganing down there, and residents said they were deliberately crashing into the trees.’
    • ‘She also enjoyed tobogganing down the Cresta Run.’


Early 19th century: from Canadian French tabaganne, from Micmac topaĝan ‘sled’.