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 About 15 percent of all trips begin or end at a subway, trolley, Silver Line bus, or Commuter Rail station., "New data from more than 300,000 bike-share trips originating in more than a dozen Greater Boston communities shows a strong demand for service, but also a need for improvements to the cycling infrastructure.," 28 Dec. 2019 Bring exact cash for the trolley, enough ones for a handful of $2 trips. New York Times, "An Upstate Culture Crawl, Thanks to a $2 Trolley That Drops You Door to Door," 24 July 2019 The open-air trolley still zooms along, back and forth, back and forth. Liz Krieger, Good Housekeeping, "My Family Vacations in the Same Spot Over and Over, and All Parents Should Do the Same," 2 Jan. 2020 And how many of the mansions that visitors pass on their trolley ride to the museum were built with such wealth? Adam Hochschild, The Atlantic, "The Fight to Decolonize the Museum," 15 Dec. 2019 The trolley carts for each airline differ slightly in design. NBC News, "Airline catering workers in Phoenix say food is getting too hot on the tarmac," 28 Dec. 2019 Wheeled trolleys help the athlete get the waveski into the water but pop off in the shallows to maintain the performance of the board. James Lynch, Popular Mechanics, "These Surfboards Help Injured Athletes Reclaim What They Love," 25 Dec. 2019 Moving the Lechmere station across the O’Brien is a crucial step in the $2.3 billion project to extend the Green Line to Somerville and Medford, to align the new stop with the right-of-way that will carry trolleys further north., "Moving the Lechmere station across the O’Brien is a crucial step in the $2.3 billion project to extend the Green Line to Somerville and Medford, to align the new stop with the right-of-way that will carry trolleys further north.," 22 Dec. 2019 Outside, visitors to Winterfest listened to carolers, rode trolleys between the city’s Uptown and South Park neighborhoods, toured the Park Ridge Fire Department’s Cumberland Avenue station, and were treated to refreshments from various businesses. Pioneer Press Staff,, "Crowds pack Hodges Park for Santa’s arrival to Park Ridge during Winterfest," 3 Dec. 2019

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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Time Traveler for trolley

Time Traveler

The first known use of trolley was in 1823

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Statistics for trolley

Last Updated

11 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Trolley.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 17 Feb. 2020.

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More Definitions for trolley


How to pronounce trolley (audio)

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


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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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