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

As of 2015, 61% of travelers were required to apply for a visa prior to traveling—an expensive and often time-consuming experience, with a risk of rejection. Natasha Frost, Quartz, "These countries have the fewest visa requirements for tourists," 3 Sep. 2019 Jo becomes a housewife raising her children whereas Bethie is carefree, traveling the world. Rachel Epstein, Marie Claire, "Jennifer Weiner's 'Mrs. Everything' Is Untraditional in Every Sense," 2 Sep. 2019 Someone will lead you astray to avoid owning up to a mistake or a rumor that’s traveling around your circle of friends. Eugenia Last, The Mercury News, "Horoscopes: Sept. 2, 2019," 2 Sep. 2019 The new digs are an easy drive from the Gulf Coast, and the Beckster invites any ’93ers travelling in that area to drop by. Calvin Trillin, The New Yorker, "Class Notes," 2 Sep. 2019 Grand plans to learn languages and travel the world can quickly fizzle out. The Economist, "People are working longer for reasons of choice and necessity," 2 Sep. 2019 Officials hoped to ship out 50 animals in 2018, but the bison left, traveling about a mile outside of the park boundary, bison project manager Miranda Terwilliger said late last year. Washington Post, "Grand Canyon to make second run at corralling bison herd," 2 Sep. 2019 Two men traveling in a vehicle in the 5100 block of Pulaski Road in Archer Heights were shot to death when someone in a passing vehicle opened fire on them about 3:55 a.m., police said. Katherine Rosenberg-douglas,, "4 homicides tallied in Chicago just 6 hours into September as police release August crime statistics," 1 Sep. 2019 Luck said in a press conference, minutes after the news had traveled through the Colts’ stadium, prompting boos from fans following a preseason game. Dan Brechlin,, "Notable Connecticut football coaches, voices react to Andrew Luck’s early retirement," 1 Sep. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Her love for travel, people, culture and self-expression through her designs has landed her the opportunity to dress clients like Beyoncé’s daughter, Blue Ivy and Chrisette Michelle. Ashley Rushford, Essence, "ESSENCE Best In Black Fashion Awards: Meet These International Designers On The Rise," 4 Sep. 2019 The Barksdales’ direction of travel is currently unknown. Joelle Goldstein,, "New Photos Released of 'Armed and Dangerous' Fugitive Couple Accused of Murdering Veteran," 2 Sep. 2019 The fare is good: $571 roundtrip, for travel between Sept. 30 and March 31, 2020. Scott Mcmurren, Anchorage Daily News, "These airfare deals will have you dreaming of London, Mexico and Japan," 31 Aug. 2019 One of the best shows of the summer returns to a legendary moment of midcentury avant-gardism with the vividness of time travel. Julianne Mcshane, New York Times, "Labor Day Art Guide: Summer Shows to See Before They Close," 29 Aug. 2019 The new deal also allows Stoops up to 10 in-flight hours of private aircraft use for personal travel per year. Jon Hale, The Courier-Journal, "Kentucky rewards Mark Stoops with raise after historic 2018 season," 29 Aug. 2019 Another one: Kapaa’s 200-room Kauai Shores Hotel — book by Dec. 20 for travel now through March 6, 2020 — with rates starting at $838.79 per person, double occupancy, plus daily breakfast in select room categories. Jessica Yadegaran, The Mercury News, "Travel: Save $150 on flights to Hawaii with new Southwest promo," 28 Aug. 2019 And yes, the whole gut health thing comes in handy after a long day of travel too. Aliza Abarbanel, Bon Appétit, "Forget Keychains, Local Kombucha Is Our Must-Buy Travel Item," 28 Aug. 2019 An atomic clock must be hyper-precise for travel through deep space, where everything is bigger and mistakes quickly can add up. Scottie Andrew, CNN, "NASA launched a Deep Space Atomic Clock that's like a GPS for space," 28 Aug. 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

6 Sep 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).


readily or continually undergoing change

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