[ loh-kuh-moh-tiv ]
See synonyms for locomotive on Thesaurus.com
  1. a self-propelled, vehicular engine, powered by steam, a diesel, or electricity, for pulling or, sometimes, pushing a train or individual railroad cars.

  2. an organized group cheer, usually led by a cheerleader, as at a football or basketball game, that begins slowly and progressively increases in speed in such a way as to suggest a steam locomotive.

  1. Archaic. any self-propelled vehicle.

  1. of or relating to locomotives.

  2. of, relating to, or aiding in locomotion or movement from place to place: the locomotive powers of most animals.

  1. moving or traveling by means of its own mechanism or powers.

  2. serving to produce such movement; adapted for or used in locomotion: locomotive organs.

  3. having the power of locomotion: an animal that is locomotive at birth.

Origin of locomotive

1605–15; <Latin locō, ablative of locus place + motive (adj.); compare Medieval Latin in locō movērī to change position

Other words from locomotive

  • lo·co·mo·tive·ly, adverb
  • lo·co·mo·tive·ness, lo·co·mo·tiv·i·ty, noun
  • un·lo·co·mo·tive, adjective

Words Nearby locomotive

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2024

How to use locomotive in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for locomotive


/ (ˌləʊkəˈməʊtɪv) /

    • Also called: locomotive engine a self-propelled engine driven by steam, electricity, or diesel power and used for drawing trains along railway tracks

    • (as modifier): a locomotive shed; a locomotive works

  1. of or relating to locomotion

  2. moving or able to move, as by self-propulsion

Derived forms of locomotive

  • locomotively, adverb
  • locomotiveness, noun

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