trol·​ley | \ ˈträ-lē How to pronounce trolley (audio) \
variants: or less commonly trolly
plural trolleys also trollies

Definition of trolley

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1a : a streetcar powered electrically through a trolley

called also trolley car

b : a device that carries electric current from an overhead wire to an electrically driven vehicle
2 : a wheeled carriage running on an overhead rail or track
3 chiefly British : a cart or wheeled stand used for conveying something (such as food or books)
4 dialectal, England : a cart of any of various kinds


variants: or less commonly trolly
trolleyed also trollied; trolleying also trollying

Definition of trolley (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

: to convey by a trolley

intransitive verb

: to ride on a trolley

Examples of trolley in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

On Saturday, a Green Line trolley derailed on the D Line, injuring 11 people, including the operator, who was found at fault in a preliminary investigation. Laura Crimaldi,, "Second derailment in days sends T into chaos," 11 June 2019 Gaudí died in 1926 after being struck by a trolley when just one facade was complete. Fox News, "Spain: Unfinished Gaudí church gets permit after 137 years," 9 June 2019 These days the Ukrainian war veteran drives a trolley up and down aisles of a supermarket warehouse in rural Poland and loads it with grocery items. Mstyslav Chernov, The Seattle Times, "Ukrainian workers, seeing little hope at home, head abroad," 25 Mar. 2019 The San Diego Metropolitan Transit System received a $40.9 million grant this week to roll out new electric buses and upgrade the region’s trolley system thanks in part to California’s new gas tax. Joshua Emerson Smith,, "MTS secures $41 million grant in trolley, bus upgrades funded by new gas tax," 27 Apr. 2018 The trolley problem does not answer these hard questions. Johannes Himmelreich, Smithsonian, "The Ethical Challenges Self-Driving Cars Will Face Every Day," 27 Mar. 2018 The trolley will run from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. on weekends from July 4 through the end of August. Zipporah Osei And Julia Preszler,, "An island fund-raiser, a low-vision support group, and helping the turkey count," 15 June 2018 Beyond the main streets of King, Queen, and Prince, the iconic trolley makes for great Instagram fodder (especially during the evening). Claire Volkman, Marie Claire, "The 8 Most Instagrammable U.S. Cities to Visit This Summer," 1 June 2017 Lin Heung is considered the granddaddy of Hong Kong's dim sum parlors; trolleys have dispensed buns, dumplings, and duck feet there since the late 1920s. Mark Rozzo, Town & Country, "Hong Kong Foodie," 1 Nov. 2012

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'trolley.' 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 trolley


1823, in the meaning defined at sense 4


1882, in the meaning defined at transitive sense

History and Etymology for trolley


probably from troll entry 2

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Statistics for trolley

Last Updated

17 Jun 2019

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Time Traveler for trolley

The first known use of trolley was in 1823

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English Language Learners Definition of trolley

US : an electric vehicle that runs along the street on tracks
: a vehicle that is pulled along tracks on the ground by a moving cable or that hangs from a moving cable
: a metal basket on wheels used to hold groceries while you are shopping


trol·​ley | \ ˈträ-lē How to pronounce trolley (audio) \
plural trolleys

Kids Definition of trolley

1 : a passenger car that runs on tracks and gets its power through electricity
2 : a wheeled cart


variants: also trolly \ ˈträl-​ē How to pronounce trolly (audio) \
plural trolleys also trollies

Medical Definition of trolley

: gurney

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More from Merriam-Webster on trolley

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with trolley

Spanish Central: Translation of trolley

Nglish: Translation of trolley for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of trolley for Arabic Speakers

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