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 attack was caught on video and, sometime later, a San Diego Metropolitan Transit System officer called San Diego police to report the suspect was on a trolley headed to University City, police said. Lyndsay Winkley, San Diego Union-Tribune, 10 June 2022 On a recent, balmy Saturday morning at the Charleston Wine and Food Festival, a man bearing an eerie resemblance to the rapper E-40 stood at the front of a tour trolley preparing to captain the Soul Stroll. Washington Post, 1 Apr. 2022 Passengers caught riding the trolley or bus without a ticket can resolve their fines without going through the criminal justice system, under a nearly two-year-old pilot. Iyarie Murguia, San Diego Union-Tribune, 5 July 2022 For a dime, people in the grip of the Depression could hop on a trolley bound for the heart of Portland and movie palaces like the Mayfair, Orpheum, Broadway and Paramount. Tom Henderson | For The Oregonian/oregonlive, oregonlive, 5 July 2022 Sullivan wrote that Engleson resisted being arrested and tried to pull away, so the officer pinned him against the doors of a Newport trolley and punched him in the face. Globe Staff,, 1 July 2022 And there's nothing quite like an all-mighty bar cart, or, more playfully known as a drink trolley. Hadley Mendelsohn, House Beautiful, 29 June 2022 There are many elements that link the two, from the design to the culture to even the dessert trolley. Bridget Arsenault, Forbes, 18 June 2022 Nine people were injured in September when an escalator at a station malfunctioned, and more than two dozen people went to the hospital last July when a Green Line train rear-ended another trolley. Mark Pratt, ajc, 15 June 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb The 360-degree spinner wheels are easy to trolley across terminals. Sian Babish,, 22 Sep. 2020 See More

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.

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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Last Updated

29 Jul 2022

Cite this Entry

“Trolley.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 14 Aug. 2022.

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More Definitions for trolley


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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