pil·​lion | \ ˈpil-yən How to pronounce pillion (audio) \

Definition of pillion

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1a : a light saddle for women consisting chiefly of a cushion
b : a pad or cushion put on behind a man's saddle chiefly for a woman to ride on
2 chiefly British : a motorcycle or bicycle saddle for a passenger



Definition of pillion (Entry 2 of 2)

chiefly British
: on or as if on a pillion ride pillion

Examples of pillion in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun The central seating position stays, but the T.50S loses one of the flanking passenger seats; there will only be room for a single brave pillion on the left. Mike Duff, Car and Driver, "Gordon Murray Spills Details on 700+-HP T.50S for the Track Only," 3 Sep. 2020

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

First Known Use of pillion


1503, in the meaning defined at sense 1a


1852, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for pillion


Scots Gaelic or Irish; Scottish Gaelic pillean, diminutive of peall covering, couch; Irish pillín, diminutive of peall covering, couch

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Time Traveler for pillion

Time Traveler

The first known use of pillion was in 1503

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Statistics for pillion

Last Updated

11 Sep 2020

Cite this Entry

“Pillion.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/pillion. Accessed 27 Sep. 2020.

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How to pronounce pillion (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of pillion

chiefly British : a seat for a passenger on a motorcycle

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