- a locomotive operating on surfaces other than tracks and pulling heavy loads, as fallen logs.
Origin of traction engine
First recorded in 1855–60
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for traction engine
I saw the horse in that brougham rear as it got opposite the traction-engine.Under the Chinese Dragon
F. S. Brereton
It is all very harmless, except the traction-engine, but it is not animated, or enlivening.
The noise is like dropping a traction-engine on a huge tin tray.Adventures of a Despatch Rider
W. H. L. Watson
You also meet, if you are in luck's way, with a traction-engine; and wherever you look you perceive a church-steeple.
Some of the big harvesters that cut and thresh the wheat are drawn by a traction-engine instead of horses.Stories of California
Ella M. Sexton
- a steam-powered locomotive used, esp formerly, for drawing heavy loads along roads or over rough ground. It usually has two large rear wheels and a rope drum for haulage purposes
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