lo·​co·​mo·​tive | \ ˌlō-kə-ˈmō-tiv How to pronounce locomotive (audio) \

Definition of locomotive

 (Entry 1 of 2)

2 : of or relating to travel
3 : of, relating to, or being a machine that moves about by operation of its own mechanism



Definition of locomotive (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : a self-propelled vehicle that runs on rails and is used for moving railroad cars
2 : a school or college cheer characterized by a slow beginning and a progressive increase in speed

Examples of locomotive in a Sentence

Adjective the locomotive ability of spiders
Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective Or how at the end of an especially locomotive burst of words, H.R. likes to curl his last syllable into a vertical shriek? Chris Richards, Washington Post, "The world is fast. Bad Brains is faster.," 8 Apr. 2021 As the sole surviving steam locomotive of the Nashville, Chattanooga, and St. Louis Railway, No. 576 was donated to the people of Nashville in 1953. Meghan Overdeep, Southern Living, "Steam Shop Restoring Historic Nashville Train Suffers Serious Damage in Storm," 30 Mar. 2021 Adding to the fun is the Great Smoky Mountains Railroad, which makes its home here, the high whistle of the steam locomotive calling you to the possibility of a ride. Tracey Minkin, Southern Living, "Plan Your Best Vacation Ever," 9 Mar. 2021 The Hawks’ goaltending was expected to be a train wreck and instead that locomotive has been quickly building speed while encountering the occasional bump or two on the track. Phil Thompson, chicagotribune.com, "5 takeaways from the Chicago Blackhawks’ 2-0 win over the Columbus Blue Jackets, including Patrick Kane’s march toward a milestone and Malcolm Subban’s 1st Hawks shutout," 26 Feb. 2021 But Balla’s locomotive dachshund, with its flickering halo of dashes and leaping leash, presents a convincing case to the contrary. Washington Post, "This charming painting emerged from a disturbing ideology," 24 Feb. 2021 Dear Comrades uncannily complements Biden-Harris-era panic by re-creating the massacre and clampdown of striking locomotive workers in Novocherkassk in 1962. Armond White, National Review, "Two New Russian Film Imports Challenge Narratives of the Biden-Harris Era," 24 Feb. 2021 As Wabtec’s design and development hub, the Erie site is leading cutting-edge innovations like the battery locomotive, FDL Advantage, and advancing additive technology. Andrew Mark Miller, Washington Examiner, "Pennsylvania locomotive manufacturer refutes Biden's 'untrue' claim the plant is 'thinking of shutting down'," 15 Oct. 2020 AmerCareRoyal joins locomotive and mining equipment manufacturer Wabtec Corp. as the tenants in the Speedway Logistics Crossing business park off State Highway 114 and west of Interstate 35W. Steve Brown, Dallas News, "New shipping hub lease signed in north Fort Worth," 28 Sep. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun The car features prominently during the film’s opening heist sequence, during which Vin Diesel drives it off a speeding train then follows alongside the locomotive so that Paul Walker can leap on to it. Bryan Hood, Robb Report, "The Scene-Stealing 1963 Corvette Grand Sport From ‘Fast Five’ Is Heading to Auction," 25 Mar. 2021 The railroad industry has argued that the installation of an automatic braking system on nearly 58,000 miles of track nationwide, which was completed last year, helps make the second person in a locomotive's cab unnecessary. Josh Funk, Star Tribune, "Court ruling may make it harder to cut train crew sizes to 1," 24 Feb. 2021 There are many collectors of railroad memorabilia, and a piece like this with a locomotive in the center would certainly be attractive to many collectors. Helaine Fendelman And Joe Rosson, Star Tribune, "China dinner plate was likely sold as train ride souvenir," 23 Feb. 2021 In 1984, the locomotive was removed from the park and placed in storage. Blake Pontchartrain, NOLA.com, "Blake Pontchartrain: Remembering Southern Pacific Engine 745, a former fixture at Audubon Park," 12 Oct. 2020 Since the 1980s, the locomotive has been out on the rails for a number of commemorative occasions since its retirement. Tom Bentley, Popular Mechanics, "Why the 4468 Mallard Is Such a Badass Train," 20 Sep. 2020 Birthdate of the locomotive is now under active research. Sam Boyer, cleveland, "Fun ways to take some of the scary out of Halloween: Whit & Whimsey," 16 Oct. 2020 The locomotive is now out of service as volunteers work to rebuild it. Blake Pontchartrain, NOLA.com, "Blake Pontchartrain: Remembering Southern Pacific Engine 745, a former fixture at Audubon Park," 12 Oct. 2020 The locomotive's engineer and conductor were taken to the hospital with minor injuries, according to Gwinnett County Fire and Emergency Services. Eliott C. Mclaughlin, CNN, "Hurricane Delta leaves two dead in Louisiana and knocks out power for hundreds of thousands," 12 Oct. 2020

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

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First Known Use of locomotive


1612, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1829, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Time Traveler for locomotive

Time Traveler

The first known use of locomotive was in 1612

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Statistics for locomotive

Last Updated

10 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Locomotive.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/locomotive. Accessed 10 Apr. 2021.

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More Definitions for locomotive



English Language Learners Definition of locomotive

 (Entry 1 of 2)

technical : of or relating to movement from place to place : of or relating to locomotion



English Language Learners Definition of locomotive (Entry 2 of 2)

: the vehicle that produces the power that pulls a train


lo·​co·​mo·​tive | \ ˌlō-kə-ˈmō-tiv How to pronounce locomotive (audio) \

Kids Definition of locomotive

: a vehicle that moves under its own power and is used to haul cars on a railroad


lo·​co·​mo·​tive | \ ˌlō-kə-ˈmōt-iv How to pronounce locomotive (audio) \

Medical Definition of locomotive

: locomotor sense 1 locomotive organs include flagella, cilia, pseudopodia, and limbs

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More from Merriam-Webster on locomotive

Nglish: Translation of locomotive for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of locomotive for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about locomotive

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