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 city’s Main Street trolley line relaunched in April. Patrick Sisson, Curbed, "Memphis downtown boom fueled by riverfront city’s rich history," 25 Sep. 2018 There is no Aspen-like A-frame lodge, nor a half-moon driveway where the bellman will meet you with a luggage trolley. Candice Rainey, Condé Nast Traveler, "The Colorado Ranch Retreat That Gives You a Real Taste of Cowboy Life," 20 July 2018 The residents of Newport Beach in general and the Balboa Peninsula in particular are thrilled with the trolley service., "Balboa Peninsula trolley should run daily to ease congestion," 9 July 2018 The storm also discharged lighting around the region, stopped trolley service for some time, and travelled through 32 units at a Back Bay apartment. John R. Ellement,, "The longest heat wave in Boston lasted 9 days," 2 July 2018 The pavilion also will be a major stop on the Blue Line when trolley service is extended between downtown San Diego and University City in 2021. Gary Robbins,, "UC San Diego begins building largest complex in campus history," 17 June 2018 The free trolley service continues this season from Market Square through the village. Susan Selasky, Detroit Free Press, "Farmers markets in metro Detroit: Here are 60 for you to try," 9 June 2018 Most of the $95,000 cost of the Explore Elmhurst weekend trolley service will be covered by this year's hotel/motel funds. Graydon Megan,, "Elmhurst Council awards $140,000 in grants from hotel/motel tax," 6 Mar. 2018 Once in Miami Beach, visitors can use the free Miami Beach trolleys to get around. Kyra Gurney, miamiherald, "What you need to know to get around Miami Beach on Memorial Day weekend | Miami Herald," 24 May 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

18 Nov 2018

Look-up Popularity

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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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).


by force of circumstances

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