caboose

play
noun ca·boose \kə-ˈbüs\

Definition of caboose

  1. 1 :  a ship's galley

  2. 2 :  a freight-train car attached usually to the rear mainly for the use of the train crew

  3. 3 :  one that follows or brings up the rear

  4. 4 :  buttocks

Origin and Etymology of caboose

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


First Known Use: 1732


CABOOSE Defined for English Language Learners

caboose

play
noun ca·boose \kə-ˈbüs\

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

play
noun ca·boose \kə-ˈbüs\

Definition of caboose for Students

  1. :  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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