[ kuh-boos ]
/ kəˈbus /


a car on a freight train, used chiefly as the crew's quarters and usually attached to the rear of the train.
British. a kitchen on the deck of a ship; galley.
Slang. the buttocks.

Origin of caboose

1740–50; < early modern Dutch cabūse (Dutch kabuis) ship's galley, storeroom; compare Low German kabuus, kabüse, Middle Low German kabuse booth, shed; further origin uncertain Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for caboose

British Dictionary definitions for caboose


/ (kəˈbuːs) /


US informal short for calaboose
railways, US and Canadian a guard's van, esp one with sleeping and eating facilities for the train crew
  1. a deckhouse for a galley aboard ship or formerly in Canada, on a lumber raft
  2. mainly British the galley itself
  1. a mobile bunkhouse used by lumbermen, etc
  2. an insulated cabin on runners, equipped with a stove

Word Origin for caboose

C18: from Dutch cabūse, of unknown origin
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 caboose



1747, "ship's cookhouse," from Middle Dutch kambuis "ship's galley," from Low German kabhuse "wooden cabin on ship's deck;" probably a compound whose elements correspond to English cabin and house (n.). Railroading sense is by 1859.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper