a hotel providing travelers with lodging and free parking facilities, typically a roadside hotel having rooms adjacent to an outside parking area or an urban hotel offering parking within the building.

Origin of motel

1920–25; blend of motor and hotel
Can be confusedhostel hotel motel (see synonym study at hotel) Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Related Words for motel

lodge, resort, inn, hotel, cabin, court, roadhouse

Examples from the Web for motel

Contemporary Examples of motel

Historical Examples of motel

  • I found a motel in a rather untravelled spot and sacked in for the night.

    Highways in Hiding

    George Oliver Smith

  • The car was going to take a dive into the fountain pool in front of my motel.


    Gordon Randall Garrett

  • She says a lot of motel owners do all right as Justices of the Peace.

    The Love of Frank Nineteen

    David Carpenter Knight

  • We got into the parking lot of a closed summer motel with a number of other travelers.

  • They were about fifty miles to the west of there in a motel.

British Dictionary definitions for motel



a roadside hotel for motorists, usually having direct access from each room or chalet to a parking space or garage

Word Origin for motel

C20: from motor + hotel
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 motel

1925, coined from motor- + hotel. Originally a hotel for automobile travelers.

The Milestone Interstate Corporation ... proposes to build and operate a chain of motor hotels between San Diego and Seattle, the hotels to have the name 'Motel.' ["Hotel Monthly," March 1925]
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper