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Conestoga wagon

[kon-uh-stoh-guh, kon-] /ˈkɒn əˈstoʊ gə, ˌkɒn-/
a large, heavy, broad-wheeled covered wagon, used especially for transporting pioneers and freight across North America during the early westward migration.
Also called Conestoga.
Origin of Conestoga wagon
1690-1700; named after Conestoga, Pa., where it was first made Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2016.
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Examples from the Web for conestoga
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • In front of the building three conestoga wagons with stout mule teams stood ready.

    Vanguards of the Plains Margaret McCarter
  • It was inferior to the conestoga wagon in detail and equipments.

    Stage-coach and Tavern Days Alice Morse Earle
  • Its fall, immediately beside the conestoga, blocked Steve's window.

    The Long Roll Mary Johnston
  • Others leaped overboard, some being drowned and some rescued through the efforts of the conestoga which was lying near.

    The Civil War Through the Camera Henry W. (Henry William) Elson
  • conestoga waggons crowded on the Alleghanies, teams fell down precipices and perished, but the tide pushed madly on.

    The Conquest Eva Emery Dye
British Dictionary definitions for conestoga

Conestoga wagon

(US & Canadian) a large heavy horse-drawn covered wagon used in the 19th century
Word Origin
C19: after Conestoga, Pennsylvania, where it was first made
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for conestoga


1690s, name of an Indian tribe in southcentral Pennsylvania, probably from some Iroquoian language and sometimes said to mean "people of the cabin pole;" later a place in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. A characteristic type of covered wagon, called Conestoga wagon, was built there from 1750 (about three years before the last of the Conestoga Indians were massacred), but it already was an established term, as the first reference is to the name of a Philadelphia tavern, and probably originally meant the type of wagon farmers used on the road from the city to Conestoga. Also a breed of horses (1824) and a type of boot and cigar (see stogie).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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