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or trolly

[trol-ee] /ˈtrɒl i/
noun, plural trolleys.
a pulley or truck traveling on an overhead track and serving to support and move a suspended object.
a grooved metallic wheel or pulley carried on the end of a pole (trolley pole) by an electric car or locomotive, and held in contact with an overhead conductor, usually a suspended wire (trolley wire) from which it collects the current for the propulsion of the car or locomotive.
any of various devices for collecting current for such a purpose, as a pantograph, or a bowlike structure (bow trolley) sliding along an overhead wire, or a device (underground trolley) for taking current from the underground wire or conductor used by some electric railways.
a small truck or car operated on a track, as in a mine or factory.
a serving cart, as one used to serve desserts.
Chiefly British. any of various low carts or vehicles, as a railway handcar or costermonger's cart.
verb (used with or without object), trolleyed, trolleying.
to convey or go by trolley.
off one's trolley, Slang.
  1. in a confused mental state.
  2. insane:
    He's been off his trolley for years, but his family refuses to have him committed.
Origin of trolley
First recorded in 1815-25; orig. dial.; apparently akin to troll1 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for trolley
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • She had dodged two trolley cars and an automobile, only to be run down by a boy on a bicycle.

    Continuous Vaudeville Will M. Cressy
  • Such lots of people and trolley cars and automobiles—and everything!

    Sunny Boy in the Big City Ramy Allison White
  • The trolley swung round at a right angle (up Avenue A) and the last block of 86th Street showed the benefit of this manoeuvre.

    Shandygaff Christopher Morley
  • No, not the trotting horse, nor the trolley on the track, nor any other of the mechanical stuff.

    Red Pepper Burns Grace S. Richmond
  • At the station they had to change cars or else make the trip by the trolley.

  • But just then the trolley wire, which we had quite forgotten, began to buzz.

    Penguin Persons & Peppermints Walter Prichard Eaton
British Dictionary definitions for trolley


(Brit) a small table on casters used for conveying food, drink, etc
(Brit) a wheeled cart or stand pushed by hand and used for moving heavy items, such as shopping in a supermarket or luggage at a railway station
(Brit) (in a hospital) a bed mounted on casters and used for moving patients who are unconscious, immobilized, etc
(Brit) See trolleybus
(US & Canadian) See trolley car
a device that collects the current from an overhead wire (trolley wire), third rail, etc, to drive the motor of an electric vehicle
a pulley or truck that travels along an overhead wire in order to support a suspended load
(mainly Brit) a low truck running on rails, used in factories, mines, etc, and on railways
a truck, cage, or basket suspended from an overhead track or cable for carrying loads in a mine, quarry, etc
(slang) off one's trolley
  1. mentally confused or disorganized
  2. insane
(transitive) to transport (a person or object) on a trolley
See also trolleys
Word Origin
C19: probably from troll1
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 trolley

1823, in Suffolk dialect, "a cart," especially one with wheels flanged for running on a track (1858), probably from troll (v.) in the sense of "to roll." Sense transferred to "pulley to convey current to a streetcar motor" (1890), then "streetcar drawing power by a trolley" (1891).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for trolley


The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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Idioms and Phrases with trolley
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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