- a self-propelled, vehicular engine, powered by steam, a diesel, or electricity, for pulling or, sometimes, pushing a train or individual railroad cars.
- 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.
- Archaic. any self-propelled vehicle.
- of or relating to locomotives.
- of, relating to, or aiding in locomotion or movement from place to place: the locomotive powers of most animals.
- moving or traveling by means of its own mechanism or powers.
- serving to produce such movement; adapted for or used in locomotion: locomotive organs.
- 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
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for locomotive
When it was first introduced some 170 years ago, the locomotive ran on a domestic fuel source.Diesel Trains May Soon Use Natural Gas Instead
The Daily Beast
May 27, 2014
His torso was nude and his legs had been amputated by the locomotive engine.Rome’s Deadly Pub Crawls Kill American College Student
Barbie Latza Nadeau
March 1, 2014
Another time, I was shooting a locomotive and it blew up, and some of the stuff got in my air scoop, but I managed to fly it back.Dr. Roscoe Brown, A Real-Life Tuskegee Airman, Tells His ‘Red Tails’ Story
January 19, 2012
When a tiger attacks a zookeeper, it is "making a noise like a locomotive."Great Weekend Reads
The Daily Beast
March 13, 2011
He was still exerting his strength to the utmost when the whistle of the locomotive was heard.Brave and Bold
People have so much to say about an ant's strength, and an elephant's, and a locomotive's.Tom Sawyer Abroad
Mark Twain (Samuel Clemens)
The sound was exactly that of steam roaring from a locomotive's safety valve.The Leopard Woman
Stewart Edward White
The sharp and deep groanings of the locomotive had already awakened me.My Double Life
The motor on the locomotive as a maximum 1½ horse-power when so much is needed.
- Also called: locomotive enginea 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
- of or relating to locomotion
- moving or able to move, as by self-propulsion
Word Origin and History for locomotive
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper