trav·​el | \ ˈtra-vəl \
traveled or travelled; traveling or travelling\ ˈtra-​və-​liŋ , 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

Call it the sisterhood of the traveling vintage Jean Paul Gaultier shirt. Liana Satenstein, Vogue, "Can You Keep Up With the Kardashians’s New Vintage collection?," 30 Jan. 2019 Distance vision is now developing, and this eye contact is the first sign of curiosity and a potential desire to travel. Karla Walsh, Woman's Day, "When Do Babies Crawl? Here's Everything You Need to Know," 28 Jan. 2019 Just days after Avril Lavigne addressed her infamous Doppelgänger theory, another pop-culture conspiracy gem has been revealed to us: the suitcase-travelling ventures of Taylor Swift, by none none other than 1D alum Zayn Malik. Sara Delgado, Teen Vogue, "Zayn Malik Potentially Revealed the Truth About a Famous Taylor Swift Conspiracy Theory," 15 Nov. 2018 The couple, who have been known for showing a lot of PDA while traveling the world together, have been seen out together only a couple of times over the last several days. Tamara Fuentes, Seventeen, "Justin Bieber and Hailey Baldwin Had a Hot Make Out Sesh Despite Reports He's Still Into Selena Gomez," 17 Oct. 2018 That shining star, of course, is Cardi B, who's served look after flawless look while traveling the globe to take in all the newest designs from the front row. Andrea Park, Allure, "Cardi B's Matching Lavender Hair and Feathered Pantsuit Are Paris Fashion Week's Best Look," 26 Sep. 2018 References to clowns, those happy/sad jesters of these traveling troupes, extended beyond the makeup to the clothes, some of which featured ruffs and harlequin patterns. Laird Borrelli-persson, Vogue, "Fashion Loves a Clown: Here, 24 Big Top Looks That Prove It From Dior Haute Couture to Alexander McQueen," 21 Jan. 2019 From 2011 to 2013, the Postal Service tested ten Navistar eStar two-ton electric step vans, which could travel 100 miles on one charge; eventually, Navistar discontinued those vehicles as well. Popular Mechanics Editors, Popular Mechanics, "12 Geeky Ways to Deliver Mail: U.S. Postal Service Technology Through the Ages," 18 Jan. 2019 Then more bad news: Alaska had rebooked everyone on a flight not scheduled to leave for L.A. until 4:30 p.m. Devereaux and her traveling companion Christine Simonson were savvy enough travelers to go to the Alaska desk and demand hotel vouchers. Dominic Gates, The Seattle Times, "Alaska Airlines flight diversion leads to a 30-hour nightmare for passengers," 8 Jan. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

The world’s weakest passports are those from Afghanistan and Iraq, where visa-free travel is only available to 30 countries. Elise Taylor, Vogue, "This Is the Country With the Most Powerful Passport in the World," 10 Jan. 2019 Commuters are also urged to allow additional time for travel, the MBTA said. Jackson Cote,, "Green Line service temporarily suspended between Brigham Circle and Heath Street," 12 July 2018 The senior forward from Vancouver, Wash., did not travel with the Cougars to Boulder, Colo., or Salt Lake City. Seattle Times Staff, The Seattle Times, "Washington State’s difficulties at Utah continue," 12 Jan. 2019 Northern Italy–from Lake Como to Modena, Venice to Verona–has become a prime spot for high season travel (June-October is magical here). Carrie Goldberg, Harper's BAZAAR, "The 19 Best Places to Travel in 2019," 10 Jan. 2019 With that growth came more required work hours, more travel, more stress, but also a great amount of joy, excitement, and pride. Marie Tillman, Marie Claire, "Why I Started My Business While on Maternity Leave," 13 Dec. 2018 Bring a hardtail or short-travel mountain bike, a gravel bike (not a roadie), and an extra set of lungs. Aaron Gulley, Outside Online, "An Outdoor Enthusiast's Guide to Ketchum, Idaho," 11 July 2018 At the same time, emissions from the transportation sector rose 1 percent thanks to more airline travel and greater on-road shipping. Chris Mooney, The Seattle Times, "U.S. greenhouse gas emissions spiked in 2018 – and it couldn’t happen at a worse time," 9 Jan. 2019 Additionally, all women are required to obtain a male relative's permission to do things such as work, travel, marry, or divorce. Jewel Wicker, Teen Vogue, "Saudi Teen Rahaf Mohammed al-Qunun May Get Asylum From Australia After Fleeing Her Family's Alleged Mistreatment," 8 Jan. 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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Statistics for travel

Last Updated

8 Feb 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 \
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 express emotion in a dramatic way

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