- one of the carts used during the French Revolution to convey victims to the guillotine.
- a farmer's cart, especially one for hauling manure, that can be tilted to discharge its load.
- Obsolete. a two-wheeled covered cart accompanying artillery for carrying tools, ammunition, etc.
Origin of tumbrel
Examples from the Web for tumbril
The second tumbril empties and moves on; the third comes up.A Tale of Two Cities
The tumbril and the guillotine would not have made her weep.The Paliser case
The bodies of the victims were placed in a tumbril lighted by torches.The Memoirs of Victor Hugo
Up the Canongate comes the rumbling of a tumbril, like the French Revolution.The Spell of Scotland
Then she was put into the tumbril, and was started on her way to the scaffold.Superwomen
Albert Payson Terhune
- a farm cart for carrying dung, esp one that tilts backwards to deposit its load. A cart of this type was used to take condemned prisoners to the guillotine during the French Revolution
- (formerly) a covered cart that accompanied artillery in order to carry ammunition, tools, etc
- an obsolete word for a ducking stool
Word Origin and History for tumbril
mid-15c., "two-wheeled cart," earlier an instrument of punishment of uncertain type (early 13c.), from Old French tumberel "dump cart," from tomber "(let) fall or tumble," possibly from a Germanic source (cf. Old Norse tumba "to tumble," Old High German tumon "to turn, reel;" see tumble). Notoriously used to take victims to the guillotine during the Reign of Terror.