trav·​el | \ ˈtra-vəl How to pronounce travel (audio) \
traveled or travelled; traveling or travelling\ ˈtra-​və-​liŋ How to pronounce travel (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 Passenger traffic was also down 80% from last year, as people appeared to be heeding public health warnings to not travel. Chronicle Staff,, "Coronavirus updates from the Bay Area: Dec. 24-30," 1 Jan. 2021 The authorities have already moved ahead with plans to vaccinate 50 million people in China by mid-February, when hundreds of millions are expected to travel for the Lunar New Year holiday, according to a Chinese vaccine expert., "No travel history in 1st reported US case of COVID-19 variant," 30 Dec. 2020 Denver Mayor Michael Hancock told his constituents not to travel for Thanksgiving, before flying off to see relatives. Steve Chapman,, "Column: The pandemic has been a national test. We flunked.," 30 Dec. 2020 At the end of the video, posted last week, Chuklansev asked that people not travel for Christmas. NBC News, "'Patients are dying like flies': California nurse urging Covid safety goes viral on TikTok," 29 Dec. 2020 The survey found that only 8% had taken an overnight business trip since March, and only 8% expected to travel for work in the next six months. Paul O'donnell, Dallas News, "Dallas hotel operator Ashford Hospitality gets $200 million lifeline to ‘navigate the pandemic’," 28 Dec. 2020 During the lockdown, people are being permitted to travel only for work, medical or emergency reasons, Reuters reported. Dom Calicchio, Fox News, "Pope Francis celebrates low-key Christmas Eve Mass amid coronavirus restrictions," 25 Dec. 2020 The University of Connecticut’s men’s basketball team has decided not to travel to Chicago to face DePaul on Wednesday. From Usa Today Network And Wire Reports, USA TODAY, "Robotic pets, Washington Monument, senators vaccinated: News from around our 50 states," 22 Dec. 2020 And, also, people have been reluctant to travel for interviews and things like that. James Freeman, WSJ, "Spygate Investigation Not Over Yet," 22 Dec. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Many veteran divers return to reefs off Boynton Beach after taking exotic vacations, knowing that travel to far off places is enjoyable, yet for underwater beauty and variety with diverse organisms, local reefs offer up many wonderful surprises. John Christopher Fine,, "Boynton Beach diving: Underwater surprises await | Opinion," 31 Dec. 2020 December travel through the airport is also down about 69% when compared with 2019 figures, according to preliminary data. oregonlive, "Over 250,000 fly through PDX over Christmas, but December travel down nearly 70%," 30 Dec. 2020 Even during non-pandemic years, air travel is one of the most carbon-intensive modes of transportation. London Gibson, The Indianapolis Star, "If you choose to fly, here's how you can do it in a greener way," 30 Dec. 2020 Air travel has been among the hospitality and visitor industries in Nevada that has been hit hard by the coronavirus outbreak. From Usa Today Network And Wire Reports, USA TODAY, "Denver Zoo, resort bubble, nursing home shots: News from around our 50 states," 29 Dec. 2020 Time travel has been a fantasy for at least 125 years. Matthew Pillsbury, Travel, "Time travel for travelers? It’s tricky.," 28 Dec. 2020 Still, corporate travel will be slower to return, so downtown restaurants that rely on business from conventions and hotel guests may continue to struggle, Melman said. Alexia Elejalde-ruiz,, "2020, a nightmare for Chicago restaurants and food suppliers, may have permanently altered how and what we eat," 28 Dec. 2020 This is going to be a rough year for everybody, with guys in and out, travel is different, all of those things. Chris Fedor, cleveland, "Cleveland Cavaliers passing every test, proving doubters wrong with 3-0 start," 28 Dec. 2020 But the hospitality industry is taking a bet that this year, travel will be back and better than ever. Elise Taylor, Vogue, "The 23 Most Anticipated Hotel Openings of 2021," 28 Dec. 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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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

6 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Travel.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 17 Jan. 2021.

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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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