Railroads. a completely enclosed freight car.
boxcars, a pair of sixes on the first throw of the dice in the game of craps.


Informal. extremely or disproportionately large: The business had boxcar profits during its first year.

Origin of boxcar

An Americanism dating back to 1855–60; box1 + car1 Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for boxcars

Historical Examples of boxcars

  • One day all of us who were able to walk were made to fall in and march over to the railroad, where we were loaded into boxcars.

  • A heavy frost developed that night and the troops almost froze in the boxcars.

    The Delta of the Triple Elevens

    William Elmer Bachman

  • Bunny and Sue crossed the street and walked along the string of boxcars, looking into those the doors of which were open.

  • A figure was running along the top of the boxcars toward the engine, looking frantically over his shoulder every few minutes.

    Ticktock and Jim

    Keith Robertson

  • The company, which controls the railroad spur, also has control too over the boxcars that are on the track.

British Dictionary definitions for boxcars



US and Canadian a closed railway freight van
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 boxcars



1856, American English, from box (n.1) + car.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper