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[han-suh m] /ˈhæn səm/
a low-hung, two-wheeled, covered vehicle drawn by one horse, for two passengers, with the driver being mounted on an elevated seat behind and the reins running over the roof.
any similar horse-drawn vehicle.
Also called hansom cab.
Origin of hansom
1850-55; named after J. A. Hansom (1803-82), English architect who designed it Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for hansom
Historical Examples
  • Get this gentleman's luggage, and bring it to that hansom there.

    The Foolish Lovers St. John G. Ervine
  • “Be exact in what you say,” Ossipon lectured in the swift motion of the hansom.

    The Secret Agent Joseph Conrad
  • There are four-wheeled cabs, and there is even a hansom to be had.

  • We won't say a word about terms; I'll pay you all that's left over from my hansom fares.'

    A Woman Intervenes Robert Barr
  • He told me that the Marquis owned the hansom; for I asked him whose it was.

    A Woman Intervenes Robert Barr
  • On reaching the hansom, she handed up the slip of paper to the driver.

    A Woman Intervenes Robert Barr
  • She awoke from her reverie when Lady Willow stepped into the hansom.

    A Woman Intervenes Robert Barr
  • Flo, you must be here for the news, if I have to go in a hansom and kidnap you.

    The Mystery of Murray Davenport Robert Neilson Stephens
  • He saw their hansom and ran downstairs to meet them, as he always did.

    Jan and Her Job L. Allen Harker
  • The doors of the hansom opened with a creak and banged back on their spring.

    The Christian Hall Caine
British Dictionary definitions for hansom


(sometimes capital) a two-wheeled one-horse carriage with a fixed hood. The driver sits on a high outside seat at the rear Also called hansom cab
Word Origin
C19: short for hansom cab, named after its designer J. A. Hansom (1803–82)
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 hansom

"two-wheeled, two-person cab," 1847, from James A. Hansom (1803-1882), English architect who designed such a vehicle c.1834.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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