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train definition

Overview

This page has 48 definitions of train with English translations in 4 languages. Train is a noun and verb. Examples of how to use train in a sentence are shown. Also define these 0 related words and terms: .

See also: Train and Tráin

English train definition

A passenger train
A troop train in Canada during World War I.

Etymology 1

From Middle English trayne (train), from Old French train (a delay, a drawing out), from traïner (to pull out, to draw), from Vulgar Latin *traginō, from *tragō, from Latin trahō (to pull, to draw), ultimately from Proto-Indo-European *tregʰ- (to pull, draw, drag). The verb was derived from the noun in Middle English.

Pronunciation

Noun

train (plural trains)

  1. Elongated or trailing portion.
    1. The elongated back portion of a dress or skirt (or an ornamental piece of material added to similar effect), which drags along the ground. [from 14th c.]
      Unfortunately, the leading bridesmaid stepped on the bride's train as they were walking down the aisle.
      • 1817 December, [Jane Austen], Northanger Abbey; published in Northanger Abbey: And Persuasion. [], volume (please specify |volume=I or II), London: John Murray, [], 1818, OCLC 318384910:
        They called each other by their Christian name, were always arm in arm when they walked, pinned up each other's train for the dance, and were not to be divided in the set [...].
      • 1819, Washington Irving, The Sketch Book, Rip Van Winkle:
        He was generally seen trooping like a colt at his mother's heels, equipped in a pair of his father's cast-off galligaskins, which he had much ado to hold up with one hand, as a lady does her train in bad weather.
      • 2011, Imogen Fox, The Guardian, 20 Apr 2011:
        Lace sleeves, a demure neckline, a full skirt and a relatively modest train.
    2. A trail or line of something, especially gunpowder. [from 15th c.]
      • 1785, Thomas Jefferson, Letter to Richard Price:
        [E]mancipation is put into such a train that in a few years there will be no slaves Northward of Maryland.
      • 1873, Charlotte Mary Yonge, Aunt Charlotte's Stories of English History for the little ones:
        A party was sent to search, and there they found all the powder ready prepared, and, moreover, a man with a lantern, one Guy Fawkes, who had undertaken to be the one to set fire to the train of gunpowder, hoping to escape before the explosion.
    3. The tail of a bird.
      • 1591, William Shakespeare, “The First Part of Henry the Sixt”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies [] (First Folio), London: [] Isaac Iaggard, and Ed[ward] Blount, published 1623, OCLC 606515358, [Act III, scene iii], page 108, column 2:
        Let frantike Talbot triumph for a while,
        And like a Peacock ſweepe along his tayle,
        Wee’le pull his Plumes, and take away his Trayne,
        If Dolphin and the reſt will be but rul’d.
      • 1894, Sir Edwin Arnold, Wandering Words, page 260:
        The burning evening sun lighted with mellow gold the coats of the fierce little tiger-kittens — orange silk with stripes of black velvet — the broken amethysts and ruined emeralds of the poor bird's train cruelly scattered over the trampled grass
      • 1917, William Henry Fitchett, Australia in the making, page xii:
        Fawn and pearl of the lyre-bird's train, / Sheen of the bronze-wing, blue of the crane; / Cream of the plover, grey of the dove; / These are the hues of the land I love!
      • 1945, Nature Magazine, page 299:
        Before the Spanish Conquest, the long, slender, green plumes of the male bird's train adorned the headgear of Aztec and Mayan kings and chieftains, as one may clearly see in modern restorations of ancient scenes.
    4. (obsolete) The tail of an animal in general.
    5. (poetic) The elongated body or form of something narrow and winding, such as the course of a river or the body of a snake.
    6. (astronomy) A transient trail of glowing ions behind a large meteor as it falls through the atmosphere or accompanying a comet as it nears the sun; tail.
      • 1839, Edgar Allan Poe, The Conversation of Eiros and Charmion:
        Finally, all men saw that astronomical knowledge lied not, and they awaited the comet. Its approach was not, at first, seemingly rapid; nor was its appearance of very unusual character. It was of a dull red, and had little perceptible train.
      • 1877, Amédée Guillemin & James Glaisher, The World of Comets, page 200:
        It sometimes happens that the train is directed towards the sun, or makes a certain angle with the line joining the head and the sun; it was then called by the ancient astronomers the beard of the comet.
      • 2014, Camille Flammarion, Popular Astronomy, →ISBN, page 515:
        ...the comet expands, its vapours are developed and escape in jets towards the radiant star; then we see them driven back on each side of the head and the caudal train commencing.
    7. (now rare) An animal's trail or track. [from 16th c.]
    8. (obsolete, hunting) Something dragged or laid along the ground to form a trail of scent or food along which to lure an animal.
    9. (obsolete) Gait or manner of running of a horse.
  2. Connected sequence of people or things.
    1. A group of people following an important figure such as a king or noble; a retinue, a group of retainers. [from 14th c.]
      • 1610–1611, William Shakespeare, “The Tempest”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies [] (First Folio), London: [] Isaac Iaggard, and Ed[ward] Blount, published 1623, OCLC 606515358, [Act V, scene i]:
        Sir, I invite your Highness and your train / To my poor cell, where you shall take your rest /For this one night
      • 1979, Silas H. L. Wu, Passage to Power: Kʻang-hsi and His Heir Apparent, 1661-1722[1], Harvard University Press, →ISBN, LCCN 79-4191, OCLC 251837794, page 78:
        The imperial train arrived on November 22 at Te-chou, a city in western Shantung along the border of Chihli.
      • 2009, Anne Easter Smith, The King's Grace:
        Grace was glad the citizenry did not know Katherine Gordon was in the king’s train, but she was beginning to understand Henry’s motive for including the pretender’s wife.
    2. A group of animals, vehicles, or people that follow one another in a line, such as a wagon train; a caravan or procession. [from 15th c.]
      Our party formed a train at the funeral parlor before departing for the burial.
    3. (figuratively, poetic) A group or class of people.
    4. (military) The men and vehicles following an army, which carry artillery and other equipment for battle or siege. [from 16th c.]
    5. A sequence of events or ideas which are interconnected; a course or procedure of something. [from 15th c.]
      • 1872, Charles Darwin, The Expression of the Emotions in Man and Animals:
        A man may be absorbed in the deepest thought, and his brow will remain smooth until he encounters some obstacle in his train of reasoning, or is interrupted by some disturbance, and then a frown passes like a shadow over his brow.
      • 1960 November, P. Ransome=Wallis, “Modern motive power of the German Federal Railway: Part Three”, in Trains Illustrated, page 679:
        Failure to acknowledge an A.T.C. warning or excessive speed starts the same train of events until correction is made.
      • 2012, Rory Carroll, The Guardian, 18 Jun 2012:
        "Where was I?" he asked several times during the lunch, losing his train of thought.
    6. A set of things, events, or circumstances that follow after or as a consequence; aftermath, wake.
      • 1907, Margaret McMillan, Labour and Childhood, page 120:
        Thus the development of reason is accompanied by no inner blight or withering. It does not bring in its train loss of faith or weakening of sympathies.
    7. (obsolete) State of progress, status, situation (in phrases introduced by in a + adjective); also proper order or situation (introduced by in or in a alone). [18th-19th c.]
      in a fair / better / worse train
      • 1748, [Samuel Richardson], “Letter XXVI”, in Clarissa. Or, The History of a Young Lady: [], volume IV, London: [] S[amuel] Richardson; [], OCLC 13631815, page 139:
        As we had been in a good train for several days past, I thought it not prudent to break with him, for little matters.
      • 1779, Samuel Jackson Pratt, Shenstone-Green: or, the New Paradise Lost, London, R. Baldwin, Volume 1, Chapter 7, p. 46,[2]
        I took care that my absence should neither be lamented by the poor nor the rich. I put every thing in a fair train of going on smoothly, and actually set out, with my steward, for my estate in Wales at dawning of the day.
      • 1787, George Washington, letter to Alexander Hamilton dated 10 July, 1787, in The Writings of George Washington, Boston: American Stationers’ Company, 1837, Volume 9, p. 260,[3]
        When I refer you to the state of the counsels, which prevailed at the period you left this city, and add that they are now if possible in a worse train than ever, you will find but little ground on which the hope of a good establishment can be formed.
      • 1814 July, [Jane Austen], chapter 6, in Mansfield Park: [], volume (please specify |volume=I, II or III), London: [] T[homas] Egerton, [], OCLC 39810224, [https:// page 121]:
        [] every thing was now in a fairer train for Miss Crawford’s marrying Edmund than it had ever been before.
    8. A set of interconnected mechanical parts which operate each other in sequence. [from 18th c.]
    9. A series of electrical pulses. [from 19th c.]
    10. A series of specified vehicles, originally tramcars in a mine, and later especially railway carriages, coupled together. [from 19th c.]
    11. A mechanical (traditionally steam-powered, now usually diesel or electrical) vehicle carrying a large number of passengers and freight along a designated track; a line of connected railway cars or carriages considered overall as a mode of transport; (as uncountable noun) rail travel. [from 19th c.]
      The train will pull in at midday.
      • 1897 December (indicated as 1898), Winston Churchill, chapter V, in The Celebrity: An Episode, New York, N.Y.: The Macmillan Company; London: Macmillan & Co., Ltd., OCLC 222716698:
        We expressed our readiness, and in ten minutes were in the station wagon, rolling rapidly down the long drive, for it was then after nine. [] As we reached the lodge we heard the whistle, and we backed up against one side of the platform as the train pulled up at the other.
      • 2009, Hanif Kureishi, The Guardian, 24 Jan 2009:
        This winter we thought we'd go to Venice by train, for the adventure.
      • 2013 June 1, “Ideas coming down the track”, in The Economist, volume 407, number 8838, page 13 (Technology Quarterly):
        A “moving platform” scheme [] is more technologically ambitious than maglev trains even though it relies on conventional rails. Local trains would use side-by-side rails to roll alongside intercity trains and allow passengers to switch trains by stepping through docking bays.
    12. A long, heavy sleigh used in Canada for the transportation of merchandise, wood, etc.
    13. (computing) A software release schedule.
      • 2008, Michael Bushong, Cathy Gadecki, Aviva Garrett, JUNOS For Dummies (page 16)
        What steps do development engineers follow when adding new feature code? How do they support different software versions or release trains?
    14. (sex, slang) An act wherein series of men line up and then penetrate a person, especially as a form of gang rape. [from 20th c.]
      • 2005, Violet Blue, Best Women's Erotica 2006: Volume 2001, link
        “You want us to run a train on you?”
Hyponyms
Derived terms
Descendants
Translations

Verb

train (third-person singular simple present trains, present participle training, simple past and past participle trained)

  1. (intransitive) To practice an ability.
    She trained seven hours a day to prepare for the Olympics.
  2. (transitive) To teach and form (someone) by practice; to educate (someone).
    You can't train a pig to write poetry.
    • 2013 June 7, Gary Younge, “Hypocrisy lies at heart of Manning prosecution”, in The Guardian Weekly, volume 188, number 26, page 18:
      The dispatches […] also exposed the blatant discrepancy between the west's professed values and actual foreign policies. Having lectured the Arab world about democracy for years, its collusion in suppressing freedom was undeniable as protesters were met by weaponry and tear gas made in the west, employed by a military trained by westerners.
  3. (intransitive) To improve one's fitness.
    I trained with weights all winter.
  4. (intransitive) To proceed in sequence.
  5. (transitive) To move (a gun) laterally so that it points in a different direction.
    The assassin had trained his gun on the minister.
  6. (transitive, horticulture) To encourage (a plant or branch) to grow in a particular direction or shape, usually by pruning and bending.
    The vine had been trained over the pergola.
    • 1805, Francis Jeffrey, article in The Edinburgh Review
      He trains the young branches to the right hand or to the left.
  7. (transitive, mining) To trace (a lode or any mineral appearance) to its head.
  8. (transitive, video games) To create a trainer for; to apply cheats to (a game).
    • 2000, "Sensei David O.E. Mohr - Lord Ronin from Q-Link", WTB:"The Last V-8" C128 game -name correction (on newsgroup comp.sys.cbm)
      I got a twix on the 128 version being fixed and trained by Mad Max at M2K BBS 208-587-7636 in Mountain Home Idaho. He fixes many games and puts them on his board. One of my sources for games and utils.
  9. (transitive, obsolete) To draw (something) along; to trail, to drag (something).
  10. (intransitive, obsolete, of clothing) To trail down or along the ground.
  11. (transitive, obsolete) To draw by persuasion, artifice, or the like; to attract by stratagem; to entice; to allure.
Derived terms
See also
Translations
The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Dictionary:Entry layout § Translations.

Etymology 2

From Middle English trayne (treachery), from Anglo-Norman traine, Middle French traïne, from traïr (to betray).

Noun

train (countable and uncountable, plural trains)

  1. (uncountable, obsolete) Treachery; deceit. [14th-19th c.]
  2. (countable, obsolete) A trick or stratagem. [14th-19th c.]
  3. (countable, obsolete) A trap for animals, a snare; (figuratively) a trap in general. [14th-18th c.]
  4. (countable, obsolete) A lure; a decoy. [15th-18th c.]
  5. (countable, obsolete, falconry) A live bird, handicapped or disabled in some way, provided for a young hawk to kill as training or enticement.

Etymology 3

From Dutch traan (tear, drop), from Middle Dutch trâen, from Old Dutch trān, from Proto-Germanic *trahnuz. Compare German Träne (tear), Tran (train oil).

Noun

train (uncountable)

  1. (obsolete) train oil, whale oil.
Derived terms

Further reading

Anagrams


Dutch train definition

Pronunciation

Verb

train

  1. first-person singular present indicative of trainen
  2. imperative of trainen

Anagrams


French train definition

Etymology

From Middle French train, from Old French train, from the verb trahiner (to pull, drag).

Pronunciation

Noun

train m (plural trains)

  1. train (rail mounted vehicle)
  2. pace
  3. (Louisiana) noise

Derived terms

Descendants

Further reading

Anagrams


Norman train definition

Etymology

From Old French train (a delay, a drawing out), from trainer (to pull out, to draw), from Vulgar Latin *tragināre, from *tragere, from Latin trahō, trahere (pull, draw, verb).

Pronunciation

  • (file)

Noun

train m (plural trains)

  1. (Jersey) train