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verb trav·el \ˈtra-vəl\

Simple Definition of travel

  • : to go on a trip or journey : to go to a place and especially one that is far away

  • : to go through or over (a place) during a trip or journey

  • : to move from one place to another

Full Definition of travel

trav·eled or trav·elledtrav·el·ing or trav·el·lingplay \ˈtra-və-liŋ, ˈtrav-liŋ\

  1. intransitive verb
  2. 1a :  to go on or as if on a trip or tour :  journeyb (1) :  to go as if by traveling :  pass <the news traveled fast> (2) :  associate <travels with a sophisticated crowd>c :  to go from place to place as a sales representative or business agent

  3. 2a (1) :  to move or undergo transmission from one place to another <goods traveling by plane> (2) :  to withstand relocation successfully <a dish that travels well>b :  to move in a given direction or path or through a given distance <the stylus travels in a groove>c :  to move rapidly <a car that can really travel>

  4. 3 :  to take more steps while holding a basketball than the rules allow

  5. transitive verb
  6. 1a :  to journey through or overb :  to follow (a course or path) as if by traveling

  7. 2 :  to traverse (a specified distance)

  8. 3 :  to cover (an area) as a commercial traveler

travel light
  1. :  to travel with a minimum of equipment or baggage

Examples of travel

  1. The birds are traveling south for the winter.

  2. His job requires him to travel frequently.

  3. She enjoys traveling around Europe.

  4. They traveled cross-country from New York to California.

  5. The pain traveled down his back.

  6. the way that sound travels in an empty room

  7. That car was really traveling when it passed us.

  8. The order is traveling by plane.

Origin of travel

Middle English travailen, travelen to torment, labor, strive, journey, from Anglo-French travailler

First Known Use: 14th century

Rhymes with travel



noun trav·el

Simple Definition of travel

  • : the act or activity of traveling

  • travels : trips or journeys to distant places

Full Definition of travel

  1. 1a :  the act of traveling :  passageb :  a journey especially to a distant or unfamiliar place :  tour, trip —often used in plural

  2. 2 plural :  an account of one's travels

  3. 3 :  the number traveling :  traffic

  4. 4a :  movement, progression <the travel of satellites around the earth>b :  the motion of a piece of machinery; especially :  reciprocating motion

Examples of travel

  1. She doesn't enjoy foreign travel.

  2. Air travel was affected by the storm.

  3. The book discusses the future of travel in outer space.

  4. We extended our travels for another week.

14th Century

First Known Use of travel

14th century

TRAVEL Defined for Kids



verb trav·el \ˈtra-vəl\

Definition of travel

trav·eled or trav·elledtrav·el·ing or trav·el·ling

  1. 1 :  to journey from place to place or to a distant place

  2. 2 :  to get around :  pass from one place to another <The news traveled fast.>

  3. 3 :  to journey through or over <We're traveling the countryside.>

trav·el·er or trav·el·ler noun

History for travel

For many of us travel is usually for pleasure, so that we are unlikely to associate travel with hard labor or torture. However, the ultimate source of travel is a spoken Latin verb trepaliare, “to torture,” derived from trepalium, a name for an instrument of torture. Trepaliare developed into medieval French travailler, which meant “to torture or torment,” as well as “to suffer or labor.” Middle English borrowed the French verb as travailen with the same sense. But the difficulties of getting from place to place in the Middle Ages, when any journey was an exhausting effort, led medieval speakers of English to apply travailen to making a trip. We still use the word, though travel is now much easier.



noun trav·el

Definition of travel

  1. 1 :  the act or a means of journeying from one place to another <Air travel is fast.>

  2. 2 :  1journey, trip —often used in pl. <I've collected many souvenirs from my travels.>

  3. 3 :  the number journeying <There is heavy travel around Thanksgiving.>

Seen and Heard

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February 7, 2016

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