noun (1)
\ ˈtrān How to pronounce train (audio) \

Definition of train

 (Entry 1 of 3)

1a : a connected line of railroad cars with or without a locomotive
b : an automotive tractor with one or more trailer units
b : a moving file of persons, vehicles, or animals
3a : an orderly succession a train of thought
b : order of occurrence leading to some result often used in the phrase in trainthis humiliating process had been in train for decades— Paul Fussell
c : accompanying or resultant circumstances : aftermath consequences the discovery will bring in its train
4 : a series of moving mechanical parts (such as gears) that transmit and modify motion a gear train
5 : a part of a gown that trails behind the wearer
6 : the vehicles, personnel, and sometimes animals that furnish supply, maintenance, and evacuation services to a combat unit
7 : a series of parts or elements that together constitute a system for producing a result and especially for carrying on a process (as of manufacture) automatically
8 : a line of combustible material laid to lead fire to a charge


trained; training; trains

Definition of train (Entry 2 of 3)

transitive verb

1a : to teach so as to make fit, qualified, or proficient
b : to form by instruction, discipline, or drill
2 : to make prepared (as by exercise) for a test of skill
3 : to direct the growth of (a plant) usually by bending, pruning, and tying
4 : to aim at an object or objective : direct trained his camera on the deer training every effort toward success
5 : trail, drag

intransitive verb

1 : to undergo instruction, discipline, or drill
2 : to go by train


noun (2)

Definition of train (Entry 3 of 3)


Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from train

Noun (1)

trainful \ ˈtrān-​ˌfu̇l How to pronounce trainful (audio) \ noun


trainability \ ˌtrā-​nə-​ˈbi-​lə-​tē How to pronounce trainability (audio) \ noun
trainable \ ˈtrā-​nə-​bəl How to pronounce trainable (audio) \ adjective

Synonyms & Antonyms for train

Synonyms: Verb

Antonyms: Verb

  • decondition
Visit the Thesaurus for More 

Choose the Right Synonym for train


teach, instruct, educate, train, discipline, school mean to cause to acquire knowledge or skill. teach applies to any manner of imparting information or skill so that others may learn. taught us a lot about our planet instruct suggests methodical or formal teaching. instructs raw recruits in military drill educate implies development of the mind. more things than formal schooling serve to educate a person train stresses instruction and drill with a specific end in view. trained foreign pilots to operate the new aircraft discipline implies training in habits of order and precision. a disciplined mind school implies training or disciplining especially in what is hard to master. schooled the horse in five gaits

Examples of train in a Sentence

Verb He was never formally trained as a chef. I've been trained in first aid. I'm training her to take over my job when I retire. My boss is training me on the new equipment. We need to train more nurses. They are highly trained professionals. I'm training to be a nurse. I trained at that hospital. He's training as a chef. She had to train her mind to think scientifically.
See More

First Known Use of train

Noun (1)

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 5


15th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 5

Noun (2)

14th century, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for train

Noun (1)

Middle English, from Anglo-French, from trainer to draw, drag


Middle English, from Anglo-French trainer, from Vulgar Latin *traginare; akin to Latin trahere to draw

Noun (2)

Middle English traine treachery, from Anglo-French, from trahir to betray, from Latin tradere — more at traitor

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about train

Time Traveler for train

Time Traveler

The first known use of train was in the 14th century

See more words from the same century

Statistics for train

Cite this Entry

“Train.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 26 Oct. 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for train



English Language Learners Definition of train

: to teach (someone) the skills needed to do something (such as a job) : to give instruction to (someone)
: to be taught the skills needed to do something (such as a job)
: to cause (someone or something) to develop an ability or skill


\ ˈtrān How to pronounce train (audio) \

Kids Definition of train

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a connected series of railway cars usually hauled by a locomotive
2 : a part of a gown that trails behind the wearer
3 : a connected series train of thought a train of events
4 : a moving line of persons, vehicles, or animals a wagon train
5 : the followers of an important person


trained; training

Kids Definition of train (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : to give or receive instruction, discipline, or drill
2 : to teach in an art, profession, or trade I was never formally trained as a chef.
3 : to make ready (as by exercise) for a test of skill He's training for the race.
4 : to teach (an animal) to obey
5 : to make (a plant) grow in a particular way usually by bending, trimming, or tying
6 : to aim something at a target We trained our eyes on the horizon.

Other Words from train

trainer noun

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on train

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


Test Your Vocabulary

Namesakes Word Quiz

  • a citrus fruit possibly named after a person
  • Which of the following is a fruit named after a Moroccan seaport?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?


Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!