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 Alternatively, building a people mover to the existing Washington Street trolley stop would work as well. Phillip Molnar, San Diego Union-Tribune, "Is the San Diego ‘Grand Central Station’ worth the cost?," 30 Apr. 2021 In 1907, the public trolley line from Camden’s Federal Street Ferry House was extended to the gates of Clementon Park, and visitors from Camden and Philadelphia flooded in. New York Times, "Can This Amusement Park Be Saved?," 9 Apr. 2021 Within 20 feet of a bus stop or trolley stop or any public transportation facility. Wells Dusenbury,, "As downtown Delray Beach draws panhandling complaints, city plans crackdown," 18 Feb. 2021 The mayor also noted that city officials are in the final stages of getting State Highway Administration approval to install a trolley downtown, a project that has been in the works for a number of years. David Anderson,, "Havre de Grace budget focused on capital improvements, no increases to property taxes or utility rates," 21 Apr. 2021 Lynching is mentioned only briefly on one of them and is also featured on trolley tours. al, "Florida residents angry over lynching memorial: ‘We don’t need to drag this up’," 21 Apr. 2021 There are three compartments for organization and a trolley sleeve to make long trips effortless. Jordi Lippe-mcgraw, Forbes, "Mother's Day Gift Guide: The Best Overnight Bags For Mom," 19 Apr. 2021 But delays in that contract mean the MBTA has had to reconfigure how riders will pay at the new trolley stops., "The new Green Line will be ready in the fall. Paying for a ride, however, will be a little tricky.," 17 Apr. 2021 The war was tough on the amusement industry, but as trolley parks closed elsewhere, this one grew. New York Times, "Can This Amusement Park Be Saved?," 9 Apr. 2021 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

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The first known use of trolley was in 1823

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Statistics for trolley

Last Updated

6 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Trolley.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 17 May. 2021.

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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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