Conestoga wagon

[kon-uh-stoh-guh, kon-]


a large, heavy, broad-wheeled covered wagon, used especially for transporting pioneers and freight across North America during the early westward migration.

Origin of Conestoga wagon

First recorded in 1690–1700; named after Conestoga, Pa., where it was first made
Also called Con·es·to·ga. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for conestoga

Contemporary Examples of conestoga

Historical Examples of conestoga

  • Its fall, immediately beside the Conestoga, blocked Steve's window.

    The Long Roll

    Mary Johnston

  • "If my brother will not go with me, I will go with my brother," said the Conestoga.

    Prisoners of Hope

    Mary Johnston

  • It will be a Conestoga with the curtains rolled up, so that everybody can see in.

    Dr. Jonathan (A Play)

    Winston Churchill

  • I was put, with eight others, in a great Conestoga wain without a cover.

    Hugh Wynne, Free Quaker

    S. Weir Mitchell

  • It was inferior to the Conestoga wagon in detail and equipments.

British Dictionary definitions for conestoga

Conestoga wagon


US and Canadian a large heavy horse-drawn covered wagon used in the 19th century

Word Origin for Conestoga wagon

C19: after Conestoga, Pennsylvania, where it was first made
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 conestoga


1690s, name of an Indian tribe in southcentral Pennsylvania, probably from some Iroquoian language and sometimes said to mean "people of the cabin pole;" later a place in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. A characteristic type of covered wagon, called Conestoga wagon, was built there from 1750 (about three years before the last of the Conestoga Indians were massacred), but it already was an established term, as the first reference is to the name of a Philadelphia tavern, and probably originally meant the type of wagon farmers used on the road from the city to Conestoga. Also a breed of horses (1824) and a type of boot and cigar (see stogie).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper