Sledge vs sludge

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Sledge and sludge are two words that are sometimes confused. We will examine the definitions of sledge and sludge, where these words came from and some examples of their use in sentences.

Sledge is the British term for a vehicle or toy used to slide downhill on ice or snow. This type of sledge may have runners or a smooth bottom. A sledge is also a vehicle with runners used to transport people or loads over ice and snow, often pulled by horses or oxen. Sledge may also be used as a verb to mean sliding downhill on ice or snow on a sledge, or transporting people or loads over ice or snow, often pulled by horses or oxen, a sledge may also be a conveyance mounted on runners used on muddy or rough ground. Related terms are sledges, sledged and sledging. Sledge comes from the Middle Dutch sleedse.

Sludge is very wet mud, very dirty oil or some other thick, viscous material, usually the result of an industrial process. The word sludge first appeared in the mid-1600s, though its origin is uncertain. It may simply a variant of the word slush, or it may be derived from the Middle English word slutch which means mire or mud. Sludge is a mass noun, which is a noun that cannot be counted and does not have a plural form.


Meera Reed, who has been carrying Ned Stark’s only living son Brandon Stark on a sledge all this while brings him to the wall, where she shares their identity and ask them to let them in. (The Times of India)

Fast forward eight months and in March 2015 each member of our inaugural Polar Academy expedition team was hauling a 45kg sledge in unforgiving and remote terrain. (The Scotsman)

A city sewage treatment plant operator’s mistake sent at least 10,000 gallons of partially treated sludge into the St. Joseph River July 22, a city official confirmed Friday. (The South Bend Tribune)