A sled, sledge, or sleigh is a land vehicle with a smooth underside or possessing a separate body supported by two or more smooth, relatively narrow, longitudinal runners that travels by sliding across a surface. Most sleds are used on surfaces with low friction, such as snow or ice. In some cases, sleds may be used on mud, grass, or even smooth stones. They may be used to transport passengers, cargo, or both. Shades of meaning differentiating the three terms often reflect regional variations depending on historical uses and prevailing climate.
In Britain sledge is the general term, and more common than sled. Toboggan is sometimes used synonymously with sledge but more often to refer to a particular type of wooden sledge with two runners. Sleigh refers to a moderate to large-sized, usually open-topped vehicle to carry passengers or goods, and typically drawn by horses or dogs. In Scandinavia particularly a sleigh may also be drawn by reindeer, as for Father Christmas.
In American usage sled remains the general term but often implies a smaller device, often for recreational use. Sledge implies a heavier sled used for moving freight or massive objects (syn. "stone boat"). Sleigh refers more specifically than in Britain to a vehicle which is essentially a cold-season alternative to a carriage or wagon and has seating for passengers; what can be called a dog-sleigh in Britain is known only as a dog-sled in North America.
In Australia, where there is limited snow, sleigh and sledge are given equal preference in local parlance.
Source: Sled from Wikipedia
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