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

Its projects have included moving a 4,000-ton barge, a 55-ton bridge crane and even an antique trolley car. Erik Lacitis, The Seattle Times, "Talk about a ‘superload’! Check out what’s crawling along Washington highways," 18 Sep. 2018 After that the trolley was fitted with tillers, so the tail section could be steered easily into place each time. David Hambling, Popular Mechanics, "Why the Super Guppy Is Such a Badass Plane," 17 Dec. 2018 To access the Pregnant Guppy’s cargo bay, the entire tail section (basically the rear half of the plane) was unbolted and rolled back on a wheeled trolley, and getting the two sections to join up again was not simple. David Hambling, Popular Mechanics, "Why the Super Guppy Is Such a Badass Plane," 17 Dec. 2018 This busy intersection is both a transfer point for buses and trolleys, and the place where two Center City neighborhoods come together. Inga Saffron,, "What the new Salvation Army memorial tells us about Philadelphia's building boom," 12 June 2018 Caruso is known for his Disney -esque shopping centers with trolleys and green lawns. Christina Binkley, WSJ, "The Man Who Could Save Retail," 17 Sep. 2018 The most common version is of a driver of a trolley, forced to decide between staying on his track and killing five people, or switching tracks and killing only one. David Grossman, Popular Mechanics, "Out of Two Million People, Most Prefer That a Self-Driving Car Kill the Elderly," 25 Oct. 2018 This week, Heath launches a set of stools and a tea trolley, building off the iconic design by Finnish company Artek. Chloe Schama, Vogue, "Artek’s Famous Finnish Tea Trolley Gets a California Twist From Heath Ceramics," 19 Oct. 2018 Hometown Trolley also recently started building regular, boring old buses, just in case the popularity of their trolleys ever lulls. Paul Srubas, USA TODAY, "Hometown Trolley business helped single mom keep life on track," 8 June 2018

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

8 Apr 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

Comments on trolley

What made you want to look up trolley? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


not to be persuaded, moved, or stopped

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