American Dictionary of the English Language

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STIRRUP, noun sturup. [G., step-bow or mounting-bow. The first stirrups appear to have been ropes.] A kind of ring or bending piece of metal, horizontal on one side for receiving the foot of the rider, and attached to a strap which is fastened to the saddle; used to assist persons in mounting a horse, and to enable them to sit steadily in riding, as well as to relieve them by supporting a part of the weight of the body.