caboose

noun ca·boose \ kə-ˈbüs \
Updated on: 12 Nov 2017

Definition of caboose

1 : a ship's galley
2 : a freight-train car attached usually to the rear mainly for the use of the train crew
3 : one that follows or brings up the rear
4 : buttocks

Recent Examples of caboose from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'caboose.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Origin and Etymology of caboose

probably from Dutch kabuis, kombuis, from Middle Low German kabūse

caboose Synonyms

Synonyms
backside, behind, booty (also bootie) [slang], bottom, breech, bum, buns, butt, buttocks, can, cheeks, derriere (or derrière), duff, fanny, fundament, hams, haunches, heinie [slang], hunkers, keister (also keester) [slang], nates, posterior, rear, rear end, rump, seat, tail, tail end, tush [slang]
Related Words
beam, stern; moon [slang]

CABOOSE Defined for English Language Learners

caboose

noun

Definition of caboose for English Language Learners

  • : a part of a train that is attached at the back end and is used by people who work on the train


CABOOSE Defined for Kids

caboose

noun ca·boose \ kə-ˈbüs \

Definition of caboose for Students

: a car usually at the rear of a freight train for the use of the train crew

History for caboose

Caboose is now a railroading word, but its origins lie at sea. When it first appeared in English, in the 1700s, caboose referred to a kitchen—or in sailors' language, a galley—on a ship used in trading. (A train's caboose serves the needs of the crew, just as the galley of a ship does.) The ship's caboose was at first a sort of cabin enclosing a cooking fire on the ship's deck. Caboose was borrowed from Dutch kabuis or kombuis, perhaps a compound word with huis, “house,” as its second part.



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