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


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.


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

And the Duke and Duchess of Sussex did not have to travel far from their Frogmore Cottage home, also on the grounds of Windsor Castle. Stephanie Petit,, "Archie's Big Day! Meghan Markle and Prince Harry's Son Has Christening at Queen's Private Chapel," 6 July 2019 The two teams had only two days to rest, review film and travel back up the coast for round two of the series. Julia Poe, Pro Soccer USA, "Orlando City confident it can avenge loss during road rematch with Philadelphia Union," 6 July 2019 Lenox, who was traveling 52 mph in a 45 mph zone, had a blood alochol content of .136 and had been smoking marijuana that day. Kirk Mitchell, The Denver Post, "“I’m too young to lose someone like you,” girl sings about grandmother killed by drunk driver," 6 July 2019 Make-anywhere rhubarb crisp that travels in a backpack. Julia O'malley, Anchorage Daily News, "How Alaska eats: Alaska knows rhubarb. Here are our best recipes.," 5 July 2019 Influenced by time spent living in Lisbon and traveling in Latin America and Europe, the music flirts between peppy, moody intrigue and unnecessarily grating detours. Spencer Kornhaber, The Atlantic, "The Paradox of Madonna’s Gun-Control Music Video," 3 July 2019 Her blog and book include recipes, easy substitutes for common disposable items, and ideas on how to shop and travel in a less wasteful way. Andrea L. Dooley,, "Take this first step for a zero-waste lifestyle," 2 July 2019 One stone hit the head of a traditional leader from the neighbouring Butembo district, who was travelling in the convoy. Amy Maxmen, Scientific American, "Meet the Ebola Workers Battling a Virus in a War Zone," 1 July 2019 The Queen visited in 1961 and 1997, while Princess Diana also travelled there in 1991. Alexis Reliford,, "Prince William & Kate Middleton's Autumn Trip Is A Nod To Diana," 30 June 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

An increase in dogs lacking the training and temperament for commercial air travel, often a stressful experience even for humans, has led to reports of bad boys and girls blocking aisles, relieving themselves on seats and even biting., "When a ‘service dog’ gives birth at an airport, controversy takes flight," 10 July 2019 The Portuguese operation cost $50,000, plus possibly that much more for travel, accommodations and postoperative support. Michael Hiltzik,, "A gruesome case study points to the hazards of stem cell tourism," 10 July 2019 The players finally arrived Monday afternoon, down two days that were originally meant to be used for travel and recovery before Wednesday’s match. Julia Poe, Pro Soccer USA, "Orlando City set to face rival NYCFC in U.S. Open Cup quarterfinals," 10 July 2019 Victoria's early career was focused on travel, working in both commercial and private concerns., "Deaths in South Florida: 7/10," 10 July 2019 Dan Greenbaum, the institute’s president, said in an interview that vehicle travel, electricity use and industrial activity all contribute to America’s high ozone levels. Washington Post, "Trump defends environmental record that critics call disastrous," 9 July 2019 And if that campaign requires travel, the rabbi’s ready. Peter Rowe, San Diego Union-Tribune, "Poway’s Rabbi Yisroel Goldstein: a brush with death leads to a new life," 7 July 2019 Cheap jet air travel, cell phones and the internet have made a big difference. Edward Lotterman, Twin Cities, "Real World Economics: In sports, and STEM, immigrants contribute," 7 July 2019 United travel out to Australia this week to face Perth Glory, before embarking on five more matches that take them across the continent prior to their return to domestic action on Sunday, August 11th., "Paul Pogba Named in Manchester United Squad for Pre-Season Tour Despite Exit Speculation," 7 July 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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Learn More about travel

Statistics for travel

Last Updated

12 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for travel

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

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More Definitions for travel



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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More from Merriam-Webster on travel

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with travel

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for travel

Spanish Central: Translation of travel

Nglish: Translation of travel for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of travel for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about travel

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).


to complain fretfully

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