tan·​dem | \ˈtan-dəm \

Definition of tandem 

(Entry 1 of 3)

1a : tandem bicycle

b(1) : a 2-seated carriage drawn by horses harnessed one before the other

(2) : a team so harnessed

c : a vehicle (such as a motortruck) having close-coupled pairs of axles

2 : a group of two or more arranged one behind the other or used or acting in conjunction

in tandem

1 : in partnership or conjunction

2 : in a tandem arrangement



Definition of tandem (Entry 2 of 3)

: one after or behind another ride tandem



Definition of tandem (Entry 3 of 3)

1 : consisting of things or having parts arranged one behind the other

2 : working or occurring in conjunction with each other

Examples of tandem in a Sentence


The team has a tandem of talented guards.

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

By tackling each of the four elements in its title in turn, Nosrat presents the argument that the four of them in tandem are the secret to creating great food in your own kitchen. Todd Vanderwerff, Vox, "Salt Fat Acid Heat," 20 Nov. 2018 Many nonprofits work in tandem and sponsor applicants for a fee to help them get recruited to teach in U.S. schools. Andrew Craft, Fox News, "School districts increasingly hiring foreign teachers to fill shortages," 14 May 2018 Paddlers can choose 5-, 8- or 12-mile runs for $45 in either two-person canoes or single or tandem kayaks. Richard Tribou, OrlandoSentinel.com, "Explore Florida's DeSoto County: Taming the Peace River," 6 May 2018 Those who own Samsung smartphones will enjoy the convenience of having a convertible that works in tandem with their mobile device, and those who use a lot of Samsung software will feel right at home using the Notebook 9 Pen. Valentina Palladino, Ars Technica, "Samsung Notebook 9 Pen review: Stylus convenience, devoid of style," 4 Apr. 2018 Instead, manufacturers began to increase prices in tandem and the Humalog pharmacy price starts at $500, according to GoodRx website. Sujata Srinivasan, courant.com, "Rising Rx Prices Forcing Critical Choices; States May Be Last Hope For Consumers," 21 Mar. 2018 In tandem, a range of mitigation techniques has been created to enable at-risk software, operating systems, and hypervisor platforms to protect against these attacks. Peter Bright, Ars Technica, "Spectre, Meltdown researchers unveil 7 more speculative execution attacks," 14 Nov. 2018 Waight Keller and Meghan also worked in tandem to craft her dress, keeping the designs and even the fact that Waight Keller was crafting the dress tightly under wraps until the day of the wedding. Lauren Hubbard, Town & Country, "Everything That Princess Eugenie's Wedding Dress Had in Common with Meghan Markle's," 12 Oct. 2018 Traditional hamstring curls involve both legs extending out and curling in tandem. Jenny Mccoy, SELF, "Why You Should Add Hamstring Curls to Your Routine Like Celebrity Trainer Ashley Borden," 10 Oct. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'tandem.' 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 tandem


circa 1785, in the meaning defined at sense 1b(1)


circa 1795, in the meaning defined above


1815, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for tandem


Latin, at last, at length (taken to mean "lengthwise"), from tam so; akin to Old English thæt that

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Statistics for tandem

Last Updated

3 Dec 2018

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Time Traveler for tandem

The first known use of tandem was circa 1785

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English Language Learners Definition of tandem

: a group of two people or things that work together or are associated with each other


tan·​dem | \ˈtan-dəm \

Kids Definition of tandem

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a carriage pulled by horses hitched one behind the other



Kids Definition of tandem (Entry 2 of 2)

: one behind another

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More from Merriam-Webster on tandem

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with tandem

Spanish Central: Translation of tandem

Nglish: Translation of tandem for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of tandem for Arabic Speakers

Comments on tandem

What made you want to look up tandem? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to move with a clumsy heavy tread

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