Definition of whiffletree in English:



North American
  • A swingletree.

    • ‘I had to get out and let the whiffletrees loose, then the team managed to get out on solid ground.’
    • ‘Ax and hammer handles, as well as wooden axles, whiffletrees, and ox yokes, are examples.’
    • ‘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.’’
    • ‘He learned to make axe-handles, whiffletrees, neck-yokes and crude sleds.’
    • ‘A specialized vocabulary described parts of harness fittings such as whiffletrees, reins, breechings, traces, collars, hames and pole straps.’
    • ‘For fastening the hay-fork rope to the whiffletrees or tying a rope around a calf's neck this knot cannot be excelled.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Check the shafts or pole and whiffletrees for cracks and soundness.’
    • ‘Also available were supplies such as hay, oats, straw or shavings, harnesses, horse collars, whiffletrees, towlines, horsebridges, fenders, pike poles, and hardware.’
    • ‘When used with mirrors glued with RTV, whiffletrees are simpler to build because they need no slings or edge supports.’
    • ‘Tiny silver chains hang from the whiffletrees and show where the horses belong.’
    • ‘This works something like a hollow auger; it is used for cutting tenons on poles, shafts, whiffletrees, etc.’
    • ‘The timber is of the highest quality, denser than other oak timber, and in the days of wagons was prized for making whiffletrees.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘The whiffletrees were cut out from beneath Kearney's feet and went with the horse.’
    • ‘The company made logging tools and parts, maple handles, loading blocks, shackles, chain hocks, load binders, neck yokes, whiffletrees and steel fittings for these.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘In early times, the farmer made implements and gear, neck yokes, whiffletrees, and wagon boxes with fittings hand forged or bought in a kit.’
    • ‘The invention of the horse shoe, the whiffletree, and the spring carriage made travel easier.’
    • ‘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.’


Mid 19th century: variant of whippletree.