train

1 of 3

noun (1)

plural trains
1
a
: a connected line of railroad cars with or without a locomotive
traveled the country by train
A train puffs across the Railroad Connection Bridge … Helen Cooper
b
: an automotive tractor with one or more trailer units
Tractor trains can operate not only within a plant but also outdoors between plants. These trains are especially useful where loads are too bulky or heavy for forklift trucks … Joseph C. Quinlan
The [farm] tractor was 11.52 tonnes and the trailer 18.30 tonnes, giving a train weight of 29.82 tonnes. Farmers Guardian (Preston, England)
2
a
: the retinue or suite of a person of rank or consequence : following
In his train flock not the industrial workers of the world but the literary intellectuals of the capital cities of the world … Sidney Hook
b
: a moving file of persons, vehicles, or animals
They had been walking for eight days. So had their small train of camels, mules and donkeys … Matthew Parris
c
: the luminous trail or tail of a meteor or comet
Sightings of spiral meteor trains are not new. Stephen James O'Meara
3
a
: an orderly succession
lost her train of thought
b
chiefly British : a sequence (as of events or actions) leading to some result or goal
often used in the phrase in train
A revolution had been set in train. Max DavidsonA vigorous campaign has been in train for most of this year to prevent the Royal family from being deported in September. Raymond Keene
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
Her bridal train was carried by a pretty flower girl … Geoff Robinson
6
: the vehicles, personnel, and sometimes animals that provide maintenance, supply, and evacuation services to a combat unit
… Edward IV had an artillery train which impressed contemporaries, and which was clearly intended to provide for field actions as well as sieges. Anthony Goodman
7
chemical engineering : a series of parts or elements that together constitute a system for producing a result and especially for carrying on a process (such as the liquefaction of gas or separation of petroleum) automatically
an oil production train
8
: a line of combustible material laid to lead fire to a charge
A train of powder burning at a known rate can be made into an accurate timer as the length of the train is directly proportional to the time it takes to burn. Robert A. Howard
trainful noun

train

2 of 3

verb

trained; training; trains

transitive verb

1
a
: 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
trainability noun
trainable adjective

train

3 of 3

noun (2)

obsolete
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

Example Sentences

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

Word History

Etymology

Noun (1)

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

Verb

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

First Known Use

Noun (1)

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 5

Verb

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

Noun (2)

14th century, in the meaning defined above

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

Dictionary Entries Near train

Cite this Entry

“Train.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/train. Accessed 30 Nov. 2022.

Kids Definition

train 1 of 2

noun

1
: a part of a gown that trails behind the wearer
2
: a number of followers or attendants : retinue
3
: a moving file of persons, vehicles, or animals
wagon train
4
a
: an orderly connected series of events, actions, or ideas
train of thought
5
: a series of moving machine parts (as gears) for transmitting and modifying motion
6
: a connected line of railroad cars

train

2 of 2

verb

1
: to direct the growth of (a plant) usually by bending, pruning, and tying
2
a
: to teach in an art, profession, or trade
b
: to teach (an animal) to obey
3
: to make ready for a test of skill or strength
4
: to aim at an object or target
trained their eyes on the horizon
trainability
ˌtrā-nə-ˈbil-ət-ē
noun
trainable
ˈtrā-nə-bəl
adjective

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