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 French President Emmanuel Macron is expected to travel to Beirut on Thursday to offer support and meet with Lebanese leaders. Fox News, "Beirut explosion leaves 300,000 homeless, Lebanese port officials under house arrest," 6 Aug. 2020 La Bella, 50, lives outside of Tulsa, Oklahoma, and has not been able to travel to Oregon to see her son, the youngest of her three children. oregonlive, "Donavan La Bella undergoes additional surgeries but expected to be released from hospital soon," 6 Aug. 2020 Also, the Wolverines were set to travel to Spartan Stadium to play MSU in the initial schedule. Orion Sang, Detroit Free Press, "Here's Michigan football's updated 2020 schedule: Ohio State game in October," 5 Aug. 2020 Former Vice President Joe Biden no longer plans to travel to Milwaukee to formally accept his party's nomination for president and will instead do so from his home state of Delaware, the Democratic National Convention announced Wednesday. Ed O'keefe, CBS News, "Joe Biden no longer traveling to Milwaukee to accept Democratic nomination," 5 Aug. 2020 They were originally slated to travel to Milwaukee but scrapped their itinerary along with all the other out-of-state speakers as coronavirus cases climbed in the Midwest. Washington Examiner, "RNC: Convention delegates to don masks in Charlotte," 5 Aug. 2020 Oklahoma had moved up its game with Missouri State to Aug. 29 and was also scheduled to travel to Army in September, a game that had looked more and more in doubt. Chuck Carlton, Dallas News, "By going with the plus-one, 10-game football schedule, the Big 12 has found the model that suits it best," 4 Aug. 2020 In 1946, William Shawn, who was then the deputy to Harold Ross, the editor of The New Yorker, asked John Hersey to travel to Japan and write about the horrific aftermath. The New Yorker, "Sunday Reading: Hiroshima," 2 Aug. 2020 On hole seven, Coody placed a strong drive onto the green and had just nine feet to travel to the hole. Michael Mccleary, The Indianapolis Star, "Pierceson Coody wins 2020 Western Amateur Championship by solving universal issues with putting," 1 Aug. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun There’s a growing push among industry insiders and analysts for a federal standard of airline safety measures to combat COVID-19 and reduce travel anxiety for passengers. Kristen Leigh Painter, Star Tribune, "In a downsized airline industry, focus shifts to leisure travelers," 8 Aug. 2020 The deal's biggest fine print: Friday and Sunday travel is excluded, ruling out traditional weekend getaways. Dawn Gilbertson, USA TODAY, "Ready to travel? Alaska Airlines just launched a two-day BOGO ticket deal," 8 Aug. 2020 The risk, of course, is that more movement could spread the virus, a concern that prompted Japan to scale back its travel subsidy program by excluding residents from Tokyo, where infections have been rising. Jiyeun Lee,, "Stuck at Home South Korean Tourists Could Prop Up the Economy," 8 Aug. 2020 The second season of The Umbrella Academy, Netflix's time-travel super hero series, only premiered at the end of July, but a surprising cliff-hanger ending left fans wanting more. Caroline Hallemann, Town & Country, "Will Umbrella Academy Get a Season 3?," 8 Aug. 2020 The teams will be playing in the MABA travel league., "Carroll County Rec Sports: Tryouts & Registrations for Aug. 9, 2020," 8 Aug. 2020 On Friday, Hawaii Gov. David Ige reinstated an interisland travel ban for 14 days in response to a surge of coronavirus cases. Cassidy Morrison, Washington Examiner, "Relief in doubt as cases approach 5M," 7 Aug. 2020 Delta, along with other major US carriers, warned in mid-June that airlines would begin banning passengers who refuse to wear masks during air travel in an effort to beef up enforcement of the policy. Jackie Wattles, CNN, "Delta CEO: 'Well over 100 people' have been banned from flying after refusing to wear masks," 7 Aug. 2020 Hawaii is reinstating its 14-day interisland travel quarantine amid a new surge in coronavirus cases, effective August 11. Fox News, "Hawaii to reinstate 14-day travel quarantine for traveling between islands," 7 Aug. 2020

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

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

10 Aug 2020

Cite this Entry

“Travel.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 15 Aug. 2020.

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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

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