tum·​brel ˈtəm-brəl How to pronounce tumbrel (audio)
variants or tumbril
: a farm tipcart
: a vehicle carrying condemned persons (such as political prisoners during the French Revolution) to a place of execution

Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web Yet this same avidity also means that if public opinion shifts significantly towards republicanism, vote-hungry politicians will be the first to jump on that tumbrel. Catherine Mayer, CNN, 14 Apr. 2021 All of a sudden women recoiled, the ethos tilted, and now the tumbrel is moving briskly through Hollywood, Silicon Valley, Capitol Hill, and beyond, carrying lechers, perverts, and boors into job-threatening disgrace. Alessandra Stanley, Town & Country, 3 Jan. 2018

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'tumbrel.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


Middle English tomrel, from Old French tomberel, from tomber to tumble, perhaps of Germanic origin; akin to Old High German tūmōn to reel — more at tumble

First Known Use

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of tumbrel was in the 14th century

Dictionary Entries Near tumbrel

Cite this Entry

“Tumbrel.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/tumbrel. Accessed 7 Jun. 2023.

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