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 The trolley ran along the bluff overlooking the palisades of the Potomac. Washington Post, "Streetcar from Georgetown to Glen Echo was area’s most memorable ride," 6 Feb. 2021 When cutting-edge public transportation technology was developed, Montgomery, Ala., would be become the site of the world’s first electric trolley system. Kelly Kazek |, al, "Alabama was home to world’s first electric trolley system," 17 Dec. 2020 That’s money, Fletcher said, that could also help expand bus and trolley service more immediately. Joshua Emerson Smith, San Diego Union-Tribune, "Fletcher: San Diego MTS stable despite pandemic, looking to expand transit service," 21 Jan. 2021 In 2015, Varnado took over the small, whimsical building in the Hollywood District that for decades had housed the Hollywood Burger Bar -- and before that had been a trolley stop. oregonlive, "Woman indicted on arson charges for fire that damaged Northeast Portland’s popular Reo’s Ribs," 30 Dec. 2020 Railroad tracks were laid in the tunnels for small trolley carts that hauled the sand. Ford stopped mining and making glass at the plant in 1959. John Reinan, Star Tribune, "Did Ford make car windows of sand mined from under its St. Paul plant?," 15 Jan. 2021 Its annual Trolley Dances performances — which take place every fall at trolley stops throughout the county — had to be postponed. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Column: The San Diego Dance Theater stays flexible with a new virtual show and fresh passion," 19 Nov. 2020 And a grand plaza is taking shape where a Blue Line trolley station will open in November. Gary Robbins, San Diego Union-Tribune, "UC San Diego forges ahead with plan to bounce back from damaging days of COVID-19," 12 Dec. 2020 The Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority is doing its part to control the spread of COVID-19 by handing out free face coverings at several subway stations and trolley stops. From Usa Today Network And Wire Reports, USA TODAY, "Winery testing, ‘Gretch the Grinch,’ disinfectant cubes: News from around our 50 states," 27 Nov. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb The 360-degree spinner wheels are easy to trolley across terminals. Sian Babish,, "The best suitcase of 202," 22 Sep. 2020

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

23 Feb 2021

Cite this Entry

“Trolley.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 3 Mar. 2021.

Style: MLA
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More Definitions for trolley



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 trolley (audio) \
plural trolleys also trollies

Medical Definition of trolley

: gurney

More from Merriam-Webster on trolley

Nglish: Translation of trolley for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of trolley for Arabic Speakers

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