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[en-treyn] /ɛnˈtreɪn/
verb (used with object)
Chemistry. (of a substance, as a vapor) to carry along (a dissimilar substance, as drops of liquid) during a given process, as evaporation or distillation.
(of a liquid) to trap (bubbles).
Meteorology. to transfer (air) into an organized air current from the surrounding atmosphere (opposed to detrain).
Origin of entrain2
1560-70; < Middle French entrainer, equivalent to en- en-1 + trainer to drag, trail; see train
Related forms
entrainment, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for entrainment
Historical Examples
  • The train then ran into the station, and the entrainment of the wounded commenced.

    A Lively Bit of the Front Percy F. Westerman
  • The entrainment was to be considered as a practice entrainment.

    A Company of Tanks W. H. L. Watson
  • "All ready for entrainment, sir," said the sergeant heartily.

    Three Soldiers John Dos Passos
  • These phrases, "entrainment," "order of march," had a businesslike sound.

    Three Soldiers John Dos Passos
  • There is one little nurse from the entrainment wards—it is a good story, which I will tell in good time—competent to care for him.

    Red Fleece Will Levington Comfort
British Dictionary definitions for entrainment


to board or put aboard a train
Derived Forms
entrainment, noun


verb (transitive)
(of a liquid or gas) to carry along (drops of liquid, bubbles, etc), as in certain distillations
to disperse (air bubbles) through concrete in order to increase its resistance to frost
(zoology) to adjust (an internal rhythm of an organism) so that it synchronizes with an external cycle, such as that of light and dark
Derived Forms
entrainment, noun
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 entrainment



"to draw along," 1560s, from French entrainer (12c.), from en- "away" (see en- (1)) + trainer "to drag" (see train (n.)). Related: Entrained; entrainment. A word in chemistry; the word meaning "to get on a locomotive train" is a native formation from the 1860s.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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