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motorcycle

[moh-ter-sahy-kuh l]
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noun
  1. a motor vehicle similar to a bicycle but usually larger and heavier, chiefly for one rider but sometimes having two saddles or an attached sidecar for passengers.
verb (used without object), mo·tor·cy·cled, mo·tor·cy·cling.
  1. to ride on or operate a motorcycle.

Origin of motorcycle

An Americanism dating back to 1890–95; motor + cycle
Related formsmo·tor·cy·clist [moh-ter-sahy-klist] /ˈmoʊ tərˌsaɪ klɪst/, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for motorcyclist

motorcycle

noun
  1. Also called: motorbike a two-wheeled vehicle, having a stronger frame than a bicycle, that is driven by a petrol engine, usually with a capacity of between 125 cc and 1000 cc
verb (intr)
  1. to ride on a motorcycle
Derived Formsmotorcyclist, 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

Word Origin and History for motorcyclist

motorcycle

n.

1895, a hybrid from motor + -cycle, from bicycle. Motocycle also was used late 19c.

The horse follows the crooks of a country road, but then the training of the "motorcycle" (horrid name) will inevitably straighten out the crooks in the country road, and afford long ranges of straight tracks. [Payson Burleigh, "The Age of Steel," Oct. 12, 1895]

Related: Motorcyclist.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper