trav·​el | \ ˈtra-vəl How to pronounce travel (audio) \
traveled or travelled; traveling or travelling\ ˈtra-​və-​liŋ How to pronounce travelling (audio) , ˈtrav-​liŋ \

Definition of travel

 (Entry 1 of 2)

intransitive verb

1a : to go on or as if on a trip or tour : journey
b(1) : to go as if by traveling : pass the news traveled fast
(2) : associate travels with a sophisticated crowd
c : to go from place to place as a sales representative or business agent
2a(1) : to move or undergo transmission from one place to another goods traveling by plane
(2) : to withstand relocation successfully a dish that travels well
b : to move in a given direction or path or through a given distance the stylus travels in a groove
c : to move rapidly a car that can really travel
3 : to take more steps while holding a basketball than the rules allow

transitive verb

1a : to journey through or over
b : to follow (a course or path) as if by traveling
2 : to traverse (a specified distance)
3 : to cover (an area) as a commercial traveler
travel light
: to travel with a minimum of equipment or baggage



Definition of travel (Entry 2 of 2)

1a : the act of traveling : passage
b : a journey especially to a distant or unfamiliar place : tour, trip often used in plural
2 travels plural : an account of one's travels
3 : the number traveling : traffic
4a : movement, progression the travel of satellites around the earth
b : the motion of a piece of machinery especially : reciprocating motion

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Examples of travel in a Sentence

Verb The birds are traveling south for the winter. His job requires him to travel frequently. She enjoys traveling around Europe. They traveled cross-country from New York to California. The pain traveled down his back. the way that sound travels in an empty room That car was really traveling when it passed us. The order is traveling by plane. Noun She doesn't enjoy foreign travel. Air travel was affected by the storm. The book discusses the future of travel in outer space. We extended our travels for another week.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Thompson said the man was traveling at high speed and drove the car for about a minute before losing control and crashing in front of the Milwaukee Safety Academy at 6680 N Teutonia Ave. Jordyn Noennig, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "A Milwaukee man dies after crashing in a high-speed chase with police on Milwaukee's north side," 8 Dec. 2019 The officer first spotted the car driving eastbound on Lorain Road, where the vehicle traveled at up to 45 mph in a 35-mph zone and was drifting back and forth within its lane and then changed lanes without signaling. Bruce Geiselman, cleveland, "Drinking while bowling leads to OVI arrest: North Olmsted Police Blotter," 8 Dec. 2019 Some track-side equipment was destroyed at the University Station and trains are expected to travel at a slower speed. Aaron Mc Nicholas,, "Biggest Hong Kong Protest in Months Signals More Unrest in 2020," 8 Dec. 2019 The march will start at Southwest Park Avenue and Salmon Street, travel east on Salmon to Southwest Third Avenue and end at Terry Shrunk Plaza. oregonlive, "Portland metro Friday Traffic: Planned march closes some downtown streets around noon," 6 Dec. 2019 There is an estimated 29-minute delay for motorists traveling from Dixie Highway in Fort Mitchell at milepost 187.7 to get across the Ohio River bridge, according to Ohio Department of Transportation's OHGO app and website. Chris Mayhew,, "All I-75 north lanes open on Brent Spence Bridge after crash caused traffic," 5 Dec. 2019 At one minute into the flight, traveling at 3,685mph, the Mercury capsule’s abort system fired. Eric Berger, Ars Technica, "That time a monkey flew to the edge of space and then smashed into a destroyer," 1 Dec. 2019 Kansas Highway Patrol Trooper Ben Gardner shared in a tweet that a family of six was traveling at 11:30 a.m. CST on Thanksgiving morning when their car left the roadway and crashed into a pond near the state's northern border with Nebraska. Phil Mccausland, NBC News, "Four kids killed in Thanksgiving car accident in Kansas," 29 Nov. 2019 As the Altima traveled at a slow speed on the interstate, a commercial truck came from behind and struck the car, the report said. Nyssa Kruse, Arkansas Online, "Police: Adult, 2 minors killed in I-30 crash; car hit by truck after pulling from shoulder onto highway," 29 Nov. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun The titles that cross our desks span the subjects near and dear to us—science, history, art, world cultures, travel and innovation., Smithsonian, "The Best Books of 2019," 27 Nov. 2019 As expected, all that terrible winter weather has thrown a wrench in holiday travel, and most of the country can expect more ugliness today. Aj Willingham, CNN, "5 things to know for November 27: Impeachment, weather, China, cannabis, animal law," 27 Nov. 2019 High winds Wednesday limited travel across the Mackinac Bridge and delayed the first ferry trip from St. Ignace, as a Star Line Mackinac Island Ferry broke free and crews tried to retrieve it. Frank Witsil, Detroit Free Press, "Mackinac Island ferry breaks free in windy northern Michigan," 27 Nov. 2019 The contract between the major leagues and minor leagues expires after 2020, and MLB suggests slashing teams would improve the remaining players’ living conditions and allow for stadium upgrades and easier travel. John Shea,, "Baseball’s silly idea to eliminate Giants’, A’s farm teams, among others," 26 Nov. 2019 The National Weather Service has advised travelers to avoid travel across the Cascades Tuesday afternoon through the evening. oregonlive, "Portland metro Portland traffic: Hazardous driving conditions hit Oregon holiday travelers," 26 Nov. 2019 Meanwhile, private schools could offer top-flight competition, commitment to the football program and assistance with travel and tuition based on need. Ralph D. Russo,, "National powers, fewer players define California football," 25 Nov. 2019 Satechi is known for a wide variety of accessories for computers, travel and even cars. Benjamin Levin, CNN Underscored, "Save on Satechi's latest compact Bluetooth keyboard," 25 Nov. 2019 Those chosen for the program also receive a one-year stipend to cover salary and fringe expenses as well as travel and other accommodations necessary to support fellows in their full-time commitment to the launch of a new school. Anna Beahm |, al, "2 Alabama charter school founders chosen for fellowship," 25 Nov. 2019

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


14th century, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense 1a


14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for travel


Middle English travailen, travelen to torment, labor, strive, journey, from Anglo-French travailler

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Time Traveler for travel

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for travel

Last Updated

13 Dec 2019

Cite this Entry

“Travel.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 13 December 2019.

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More Definitions for travel


How to pronounce travel (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of travel

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: to go on a trip or journey : to go to a place and especially one that is far away
: to go through or over (a place) during a trip or journey
: to move from one place to another



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

: the act or activity of traveling
: trips or journeys to distant places


trav·​el | \ ˈtra-vəl How to pronounce travel (audio) \
traveled or travelled; traveling or travelling

Kids Definition of travel

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : to journey from place to place or to a distant place
2 : to get around : pass from one place to another The news traveled fast.
3 : to journey through or over We're traveling the countryside.

Other Words from travel

traveler or traveller noun



Kids Definition of travel (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : the act or a means of journeying from one place to another Air travel is fast.
2 : journey entry 1, trip often used in pl.I've collected many souvenirs from my travels.
3 : the number journeying There is heavy travel around Thanksgiving.

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Comments on travel

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


easily led, controlled, or managed

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