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[fey-i-tn or, esp. British, feyt-n] /ˈfeɪ ɪ tn or, esp. British, ˈfeɪt n/
any of various light, four-wheeled carriages, with or without a top, having one or two seats facing forward, used in the 19th century.
a vintage automobile of the touring-car type.
Origin of phaeton
1585-95; special use of Latin Phaetōn, variant of Phaethōn Phaethon Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for phaeton
Historical Examples
  • He had been a tailor in his time, and had kept a phaeton, he said.

    Little Dorrit Charles Dickens
  • Did you know you are to drive me into town in the phaeton for the fireworks?

    The Gentleman From Indiana Booth Tarkington
  • Do you think the ancient Greeks really believed the story of phaeton?

    Classic Myths Mary Catherine Judd
  • Since that time phaeton has got into the chariot of the sun; we, alas!

    Apologia Pro Vita Sua John Henry Cardinal Newman
  • Yet another mourned for phaetonphaeton “dead ere his prime.”

    A Book of Myths Jean Lang
  • However, the Doctor's brougham, like the Rector's phaeton, was a thing of the past.

    A Houseful of Girls Sarah Tytler
  • With this remark they both dismounted from the phaeton, and passed into the house.

    The Kentucky Ranger Edward T. Curnick
  • I'm going to have a horse and phaeton for your exclusive use.

    Watch Yourself Go By Al. G. Field
  • The phaeton was full of people and there was a doubt as to where Count Peter could sit.

    War and Peace Leo Tolstoy
  • Advertise for a gentleman's pony-horse and phaeton and harness complete.

    Buying a Horse William Dean Howells
British Dictionary definitions for phaeton


a light four-wheeled horse-drawn carriage with or without a top, usually having two seats
Word Origin
C18: from Phaëthon
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 phaeton

type of light four-wheeled carriage, 1742, from French (1735), from Greek Phaethon name of the son of Helios and Clymene, who tried to drive his father's sun-chariot but crashed after almost setting fire to the whole earth. His name is literally "shining," from phaein "to shine, gleam," from phaos "light" (see fantasy). Earlier as a name for a reckless driver (1590s).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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