trol·​ley | \ ˈträ-lē \
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

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 The trolley, a 2010 Ford Freightliner, sold for $24,000. Patrick Danner, San Antonio Express-News, "Trolley and buses seized from San Antonio tour operator sold for $88K," 7 June 2018 Green-Wood Cemetery; Brooklyn, New York Ever heard of a cemetery with its own trolley? Jennifer Billock, Smithsonian, "From Yoga to Movie Nights: How Cemeteries Are Trying to Attract the Living," 22 Mar. 2018 After being laughed at for a few years as a wally off his trolley, an appearance on the BBC in 1994 turned him into a genius. The Economist, "Trevor Baylis died on March 5th," 16 Mar. 2018 English trolley—Circa Antiques (T); House Beautiful, "September 2011 Issue Product Guide," 29 June 2011 There’s something about the trolley that people enjoy. Adam Vaccaro And Margeaux Sippell,, "Future of old-time Mattapan trolleys up for debate," 21 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

30 Dec 2018

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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

: 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 \
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 \
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).


to settle judicially or to act as judge

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