Definition of whiffletree in US English:



North American
  • A singletree.

    • ‘For fastening the hay-fork rope to the whiffletrees or tying a rope around a calf's neck this knot cannot be excelled.’
    • ‘It should also be noted that the base price of each Farm Wagon included whiffletrees, stay chains, wrench, neck yoke or tongue chains, but did not include a seat or a brake.’
    • ‘A specialized vocabulary described parts of harness fittings such as whiffletrees, reins, breechings, traces, collars, hames and pole straps.’
    • ‘In early times, the farmer made implements and gear, neck yokes, whiffletrees, and wagon boxes with fittings hand forged or bought in a kit.’
    • ‘Also available were supplies such as hay, oats, straw or shavings, harnesses, horse collars, whiffletrees, towlines, horsebridges, fenders, pike poles, and hardware.’
    • ‘Tiny silver chains hang from the whiffletrees and show where the horses belong.’
    • ‘Ax and hammer handles, as well as wooden axles, whiffletrees, and ox yokes, are examples.’
    • ‘The whiffletrees were cut out from beneath Kearney's feet and went with the horse.’
    • ‘The invention of the horse shoe, the whiffletree, and the spring carriage made travel easier.’
    • ‘The fat horses of the threshers were not pulling, and his own were doing most of the work, so Peter called out, ‘Henry, touch up your team with your lash, the whiffletrees are dangling against their legs.’’
    • ‘This works something like a hollow auger; it is used for cutting tenons on poles, shafts, whiffletrees, etc.’
    • ‘John Kellogg's residence, a board on the front of his wagon in some manner became loosened, and, falling out on the whiffletrees, frightened the animal which Mr. Bovee was driving with his own horse.’
    • ‘I put one horse between the shafts and a horse on either side with whiffletrees, and so forth, so that they could all pull even on it.’
    • ‘He learned to make axe-handles, whiffletrees, neck-yokes and crude sleds.’
    • ‘The timber is of the highest quality, denser than other oak timber, and in the days of wagons was prized for making whiffletrees.’
    • ‘For this reason it is easy to find discussions of whiffletrees, stone boats, ground hackies, and a rich variety of plow parts and types of broom, but it is impossible to find information about how regular people actually speak today.’
    • ‘When used with mirrors glued with RTV, whiffletrees are simpler to build because they need no slings or edge supports.’
    • ‘Check the shafts or pole and whiffletrees for cracks and soundness.’
    • ‘I had to get out and let the whiffletrees loose, then the team managed to get out on solid ground.’
    • ‘The company made logging tools and parts, maple handles, loading blocks, shackles, chain hocks, load binders, neck yokes, whiffletrees and steel fittings for these.’


Mid 19th century: variant of whippletree.