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adjective Transportation.
  1. pertaining to or suitable for transportation involving more than one form of carrier, as truck and rail, or truck, ship, and rail.

Origin of intermodal

First recorded in 1960–65; inter- + modal
Related formsin·ter·mod·al·ism, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
British Dictionary definitions for intermodalism


  1. (of a transport system) using different modes of conveyance in conjunction, such as ships, aircraft, road vehicles, etc
  2. (of a container) able to be carried by different modes of conveyance without being unpacked
  3. psychol denoting an interaction between different senses
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

Word Origin and History for intermodalism



1963, from inter- + modal.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper