Origin of funicular
First Known Use: 1664
Simple Definition of funicular
: a railway going up and down a mountain that carries people in cars pulled by a moving cable
Full Definition of funicular
: a cable railway ascending a mountain; especially : one in which an ascending car counterbalances a descending car
Did You Know?
You may have fun on a funicular, but the word is not related to "fun" (which comes to us from an English dialect verb meaning "to hoax"). The noun "funicular" descends from an earlier adjective funicular, meaning "relating to a cord under tension." It was also influenced by "funiculaire," a French word used for a type of railway that is dependent upon cables (or on "cords under tension"). Ultimately, these terms trace back to the Latin noun funiculus, meaning "small rope." "Funicular" first appeared in print as an adjective in English in 1664; the noun has been with us since the early 20th century.
First Known Use of funicular
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