trail (v.) Look up trail at
c. 1300, "to hang down loosely and flow behind" (of a gown, sleeve, etc.), from Old French trailler "to tow; pick up the scent of a quarry," ultimately from Vulgar Latin *tragulare "to drag," from Latin tragula "dragnet, javelin thrown by a strap," probably related to trahere "to pull" (see tract (n.1)). Transitive sense of "to tow or pull along the ground" is from c. 1400. The meaning "follow the trail of" (an animal, etc.) is first recorded late 14c. Meaning "to lag behind" is from 1957. Related: Trailed; trailing.
trail (n.) Look up trail at
early 14c., "trailing part of a robe, gown, etc.," from trail (v.). The meaning "track or smell left by a person or animal" is also from 1580s. Meaning "path or track worn in wilderness" is attested from 1807. Trail of Tears in reference to the U.S. government's brutally incompetent Cherokee removal of 1838-9 is attested by 1908.
trailblazer (n.) Look up trailblazer at
by 1893, from trail (n.) + agent noun from blaze (v.3).
trailer (n.) Look up trailer at
1580s, "hound or huntsman that follows a trail," agent noun from trail (v.). From 1610s as "Something that trails." From 1890 as "vehicle pulled by another;" originally a small carriage drawn along by a bicycle. Meaning "preview of a coming movie" first attested 1928. Trailer park "mobile home community" recorded by 1936. Trailer trash in use by 1986.
train (n.) Look up train at
early 14c., "a drawing out, delay;" late 14c., "trailing part of a skirt, gown, or cloak;" also "retinue, procession," from Old French train "tracks, path, trail (of a rome or gown); act of dragging," from trainer "to pull, drag, draw," from Vulgar Latin *traginare, extended from *tragere "to pull," back-formation from tractus, past participle of Latin trahere "to pull, draw" (see tract (n.1)).,

General sense of "series, progression, succession, continuous course" is from late 15c. Train of thought first attested 1650s. The railroad sense "locomotive and the cars coupled to it" is recorded from 1820 (publication year, dated 1816), from notion of a "train" of wagons or carriages pulled by a mechanical engine.
train (v.) Look up train at
"to discipline, teach, bring to a desired state by means of instruction," 1540s, probably from earlier sense of "draw out and manipulate in order to bring to a desired form" (late 14c.), specifically of the growth of branches, vines, etc. from mid-15c.; from train (n.). Sense of "point or aim" (a firearm, etc.) is from 1841. Sense of "fit oneself for a performance by a regimen or exercise" is from 1832. The meaning "to travel by railway" is recorded from 1856. Related: Trained; training.
train-spotting (n.) Look up train-spotting at
1959 (train spotter attested from 1958), chiefly British English, in reference to the hobby of recording the numbers of railway locomotives one has observed; from train (n.) in the railroad sense + verbal noun from spot (v.).
trainable (adj.) Look up trainable at
1540s, from train (v.) + -able.
trainee (n.) Look up trainee at
1841, from train (v.) in the "instruct" sense + -ee.
trainer (n.) Look up trainer at
c. 1600, "one who educates or instructs," agent noun from train (v.). Meaning "one who prepares another for feats requiring physical fitness" is from 1823, originally of horse-trainers.
training (n.) Look up training at
mid-15c., "protraction, delay," verbal noun from train (v.). From 1540s as "discipline and instruction to develop powers or skills;" 1786 as "exercise to improve bodily vigor." Training wheels as an attachment to a bicycle is from 1953.
Training is the development of the mind or character or both, or some faculty, at some length, by exercise, as a soldier is trained or drilled. Discipline is essentially the same as training, but more severe. [Century Dictionary]
traipse (v.) Look up traipse at
1590s, of uncertain origin, perhaps from dialectal French trepasser "pass over or beyond," from Old French trespasser "cross, traverse, transgress" (see trespass). Or from a source related to Middle Dutch trappen, dialectal Norwegian trappa "to tread, stamp" (see trap (n.)). Liberman points out that it resembles German traben "tramp" "and other similar verbs meaning 'tramp; wander; flee' in several European languages. They seem to have been part of soldiers' and vagabonds' slang between 1400 and 1700. In all likelihood, they originated as onomatopoeias and spread to neighboring languages from Low German." Related: Traipsed; traipsing.
trait (n.) Look up trait at
late 15c., "shot, missiles;" later "a stroke in drawing, a short line" (1580s), from Middle French trait "line, stroke, feature, tract," from Latin tractus "drawing, drawing out, dragging, pulling," later "line drawn, feature," from past participle stem of trahere "to pull, draw" (see tract (n.1)). Sense of "particular feature, distinguishing quality" in English is first recorded 1752.
traitor (n.) Look up traitor at
c. 1200, "one who betrays a trust or duty," from Old French traitor, traitre "traitor, villain, deceiver" (11c., Modern French traître), from Latin traditor "betrayer," literally "one who delivers," agent noun from stem of tradere "deliver, hand over," from trans- "over" (see trans-) + dare "to give" (from PIE root *do- "to give"). Originally usually with a suggestion of Judas Iscariot; especially of one false to his allegiance to a sovereign, government, or cause from late 15c.
traitorous (adj.) Look up traitorous at
late 14c., "guilty of treason," apparently from Old French traitros "treacherous" (13c.), from traitor (see traitor). Related: Traitorously; traitorousness.
trajectory (n.) Look up trajectory at
"path described by a body moving under the influence of given forces," 1690s, from Modern Latin trajectorium, from trajectorius "of or pertaining to throwing across," from Latin traiectus "thrown over or across," past participle of traicere "throw across, shoot across," from Latin trans "across, beyond" (see trans-) + icere, combining form of iacere "to throw" (from PIE root *ye- "to throw, impel"). Middle French and Middle English had trajectorie as "end of a funnel," from Latin traiectorium.
tram (n.) Look up tram at
c. 1500, "beam or shaft of a barrow or sledge," also "a barrow or truck body" (1510s), Scottish, originally in reference to the iron trucks used in coal mines, probably from Middle Flemish tram "beam, handle of a barrow, bar, rung," a North Sea Germanic word of unknown origin. The sense of "track for a barrow, tramway" is first recorded 1826; that of "streetcar" is first recorded 1879, short for tram-car "car used on a tramway" (1873).
trammel (v.) Look up trammel at
1530s, originally "to bind up (a corpse);" sense of "hinder, restrain" is from 1727, from trammel (n.), a figurative use from the literal sense "bind (a horse's legs) with a trammel" (c. 1600). Related: Trammeled; trammeling.
trammel (n.) Look up trammel at
mid-14c., "net to catch fish" (implied in trammeller "one who fishes with a trammel net"), from Old French tramail "fine-gauged fishnet" (13c.), from Late Latin tremaculum, perhaps meaning "a net made from three layers of meshes," from Latin tri- "three" (see tri-) + macula "a mesh" (see mail (n.2)). Meaning "anything that hinders" is from 1650s, originally "a hobble for a horse" (c. 1500). Italian tramaglio, Spanish trasmallo are French loan-words.
tramp (n.) Look up tramp at
"person who wanders about, idle vagrant, vagabond," 1660s, from tramp (v.). Sense of "steamship which takes cargo wherever it can be traded" (as opposed to one running a regular line) is attested from c. 1880. The meaning "promiscuous woman" is from 1922. Sense of "a long, toilsome walk" is from 1786.
tramp (v.) Look up tramp at
late 14c., "walk heavily, stamp," from Middle Low German trampen "to stamp," from Proto-Germanic *tremp- (source also of Danish trampe, Swedish trampa "to tramp, stamp," Gothic ana-trimpan "to press upon"), from PIE *der- (1) "to run, walk, step" (see tread (v.)). Related: Tramped; tramping.
trample (v.) Look up trample at
late 14c., "to walk heavily," frequentative form of tramp (v.) + -el (3). Transitive sense "beat down by continuously treading on" is from mid-15c. Related: Trampled; trampling. As a noun from c. 1600.
trampoline (n.) Look up trampoline at
1798, from Spanish trampolin "springboard," and Italian trampolino, from trampoli "stilts," from a Germanic source (compare Low German trampeln "trample") related to tramp (v.).
trance (n.) Look up trance at
late 14c., "state of extreme dread or suspense," also "a half-conscious or insensible condition, state of insensibility to mundane things," from Old French transe "fear of coming evil," originally "coma, passage from life to death" (12c.), from transir "be numb with fear," originally "die, pass on," from Latin transire "cross over, go over, pass over, hasten over, pass away," from trans "across, beyond" (see trans-) + ire "to go" (from PIE root *ei- "to go"). French trance in its modern sense has been reborrowed from English. As a music genre, from c. 1993.
tranche (n.) Look up tranche at
c. 1500, from French tranche "a cutting," from trancher, trencher "to cut," Old French trenchier "to cut, carve, slice" (see trench). Economic sense is from 1930.
trannie (n.) Look up trannie at
also tranny "transsexual person," 1983, from transsexual + -ie. In 1960s and '70s the word was used as a slang shortening of transistor radio and in car magazines for transmission.
tranquil (adj.) Look up tranquil at
mid-15c., a back-formation from tranquility or else from Latin tranquillus "quiet, calm, still." Related: Tranquilly.
tranquility (n.) Look up tranquility at
also tranquillity, late 14c., from Old French tranquilite "peace, happiness" (12c.), from Latin tranquillitatem (nominative tranquillitas) "quietness, stillness; serenity," from tranquillus "quiet, calm, still," perhaps from trans- "over" (here in its intensive sense of "exceedingly") + a root possibly related to quies "rest" (see quiet (n.)).
tranquilize (v.) Look up tranquilize at
1620s, from tranquil + -ize. Related: Tranquilized; tranquilizing; tranquilization.
tranquilizer (n.) Look up tranquilizer at
1800, "that which tranquilizes;" from 1824 as "a sedative" (first reference is to ground ivy), agent noun from tranquilize; in reference to one of a large group of anti-anxiety drugs, it is recorded by 1956.
trans- Look up trans- at
word-forming element meaning "across, beyond, through, on the other side of, to go beyond," from Latin trans (prep.) "across, over, beyond," perhaps originally present participle of a verb *trare-, meaning "to cross," from PIE *tra-, variant of root *tere- (2) "cross over, pass through, overcome." In chemical use indicating "a compound in which two characteristic groups are situated on opposite sides of an axis of a molecule" [Flood].
trans-Atlantic (adj.) Look up trans-Atlantic at
also transatlantic, 1779, from trans- "through, across" + Atlantic.
trans-oceanic (adj.) Look up trans-oceanic at
1827, "situated across the ocean," from trans- + oceanic. Meaning "passing over the sea" is recorded from 1868.
trans. Look up trans. at
abbreviation of transitive (adj.).
transact (v.) Look up transact at
1580s, back-formation from transaction, or else from Latin transactus, past participle of transigere "to drive through, accomplish, bring to an end, settle," from trans "across, beyond; through" (see trans-) + agere "to set in motion, drive, drive forward," hence "to do, perform" (from PIE root *ag- "to drive, draw out or forth, move"). Related: Transacted; transacting.
transaction (n.) Look up transaction at
mid-15c., "the adjustment of a dispute, a negotiated agreement, management or settlement of an affair," from Old French transaccion "exchange, transaction," from Late Latin transactionem (nominative transactio) "an agreement, accomplishment," noun of action from past participle stem of transigere "stab through; accomplish, perform, drive or carry through, come to a settlement," from trans "across, beyond; through" (see trans-) + agere "to set in motion, drive, drive forward," hence "to do, perform" (from PIE root *ag- "to drive, draw out or forth, move"). Meaning "a piece of business" is attested from 1640s. Related: Transactions; transactional.
transaxle (n.) Look up transaxle at
1958, from transmission axle.
transceiver (n.) Look up transceiver at
1934, from a merger of transmitter + receiver.
transcend (v.) Look up transcend at
mid-14c., "escape inclusion in; lie beyond the scope of," from Old French transcendre "transcend, surpass," and directly from Latin transcendere "climb over or beyond, surmount, overstep," from trans "across, beyond" (see trans-) + scandere "to climb" (see scan (v.)). Meanings "be surpassing, outdo, excel; surmount, move beyond" are from early 15c. Related: Transcended; transcending.
transcendence (n.) Look up transcendence at
c. 1600, from transcendent + -ence, or else from Medieval Latin transcendentia, from Latin transcendentem. Related: Transcendency.
transcendent (adj.) Look up transcendent at
mid-15c., from Latin transcendentem (nominative transcendens) "surmounting, rising above," present participle of transcendere (see transcend). Related: Transcendently.
transcendental (adj.) Look up transcendental at
1660s, from Medieval Latin transcendentalis, from Latin transcendentem (see transcendent). Related: Transcendentally. Transcendental meditation attested by 1966.
transcendentalism (n.) Look up transcendentalism at
1803, in reference to Kant, later to Schelling; 1842 in reference to the New England religio-philosophical movement among American followers of German writers; from transcendental + -ism.
transcendentalist (n.) Look up transcendentalist at
1803, from transcendental + -ist.
transcontinental (adj.) Look up transcontinental at
also trans-continental, 1853 (in transcontinental railroad), American English, from trans- + continental.
transcribe (v.) Look up transcribe at
1550s, from Latin transcribere "to copy, write again in another place, write over, transfer," from trans "across, beyond; over" (see trans-) + scribere "to write" (from PIE root *skribh- "to cut"). To do it poorly is to transcribble (1746). Related: Transcribed; transcriber; transcribing.
transcript (n.) Look up transcript at
"written copy of a document," c. 1300, from Medieval Latin transcriptum, neuter past participle of Latin transcribere (see transcribe).
transcriptase (n.) Look up transcriptase at
1963, from transcription + -ase.
transcription (n.) Look up transcription at
1590s, from Middle French transcription, from Late Latin transcriptionem (nominative transcriptio), noun of action from past participle stem of transcribere (see transcribe). Biological sense is from 1961. Related: Transcriptional; transcriptionist.
transduce (v.) Look up transduce at
1949, back-formation from transducer. Related: Transduced; transducing.