wag·​on | \ˈwa-gən \

Definition of wagon 

(Entry 1 of 2)

1a : a usually four-wheeled vehicle for transporting bulky commodities and drawn originally by animals

b : a lighter typically horse-drawn vehicle for transporting goods or passengers

c : paddy wagon

2 British : a railway freight car

3 : a low four-wheeled vehicle with an open rectangular body and a retroflex tongue made for the play or use of a child

4 : a small wheeled table used for the service of a dining room the dessert wagon

5 : a delivery truck a milk wagon

off the wagon

: in or into a state of no longer abstaining from alcoholic beverages fell off the wagon

on the wagon

: in or into a state of abstaining from alcoholic beverages


wagoned; wagoning; wagons

Definition of wagon (Entry 2 of 2)

intransitive verb

: to travel or transport goods by wagon

transitive verb

: to transport (goods) by wagon

Keep scrolling for more

Synonyms for wagon

Synonyms: Noun

cart, wain

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

Examples of wagon in a Sentence


Pioneers crossed the American Midwest in wagons. He pulled his stuffed animals around in a little red wagon.

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Nearby, Katie Lewandowski, 31, a middle-school teacher from West Seattle, and her friend Milda Bandza, 30, an optometrist from White Center, had little wagons already full of purchases. Dominic Gates, The Seattle Times, "Fun, silly and fabulous at the Goodwill Glitter Sale," 10 Nov. 2018 Less apt to cause sore arms was the actual pioneer way—hanging cans of cream off the rolling, rattling wagons to agitate the contents into butter. Kathleen Squires, WSJ, "A Traveler’s Guide to Oregon City, aka ‘Portland Without the Weird’," 27 Sep. 2018 Mercedes built its lineup heavily on straight sixes from 1924 to 1943, until the business of making Nazi war wagons got in the way. Matthew Jancer, Popular Mechanics, "Straight From the Grave: An Iconic Engine Design Makes a Comeback," 21 Aug. 2018 The wagon is provided by the Door County Maritime Museum, which offers tours and climbs of the 89-foot lighthouse tower and keeper's quarters, built in 1869. Chelsey Lewis, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "8 spectacular Lake Michigan lighthouses to visit in Wisconsin," 12 July 2018 The gifts pelted her wagon and splashed in the mud beside her. Zach Despart, Houston Chronicle, "Undaunted by downpours, Lindale Park holds July 4 parade," 4 July 2018 In the pioneer days, women would throw things out of the wagon as the trip got longer to lighten the load. Danielle Page, USA TODAY, "Empowering advice from today’s top women leaders at the 2018 KPMG Women's Leadership Summit," 2 July 2018 In the first photo, robot revolution leader Dolores and just-honestly-over-it-all-and-trying-to-find-my-daughter Maeve meet face-to-face in front of a burning wagon. Kayleigh Roberts, Marie Claire, "HBO Just Released Four New Pictures from the Next Episode of 'Westworld'," 26 Apr. 2018 Someone took pains to create a beautiful image of slaves picking cotton with another slave at the helm of a wagon with cotton bales on top of it pulled by four horses. Byron Mccauley, Cincinnati.com, "The Confederacy was about preserving slavery. The proof? It's on the money.," 5 Apr. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

The farm's dozens of other attractions, from a train and giant jumping pillows to wagon rides to a pumpkin patch, give it almost amusement-park status. Chelsey Lewis, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Get lost! In one of 10 winding Wisconsin corn mazes," 12 Oct. 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'wagon.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of wagon


15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a


1606, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense

History and Etymology for wagon


Dutch wagen, from Middle Dutch — more at wain

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about wagon

Statistics for wagon

Last Updated

4 Dec 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for wagon

The first known use of wagon was in the 15th century

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for wagon



English Language Learners Definition of wagon

: a vehicle with four wheels that is used for carrying heavy loads or passengers and that is usually pulled by animals (such as horses)

: a small, low vehicle with four wheels that children play with

: a railway car that carries goods


wag·​on | \ˈwa-gən \

Kids Definition of wagon

: a vehicle having four wheels and used for carrying goods

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on wagon

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with wagon

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for wagon

Spanish Central: Translation of wagon

Nglish: Translation of wagon for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of wagon for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about wagon

Comments on wagon

What made you want to look up wagon? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to make faulty or ineffective

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Find the Cousins

  • a-large-tree-with-many-branches
  • Which pair shares a common word ancestor?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

Word Winder's CrossWinder

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.


Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!