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
The red caboose parked at the edge of a rundown commercial block is the only rail car some people have seen in Matoaka in more than a year.
First, the restaurant is an old train caboose, with no indoor seating.
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
First Known Use: 1732
CABOOSE Defined for English Language Learners
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
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.
Seen and Heard
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