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See more synonyms for motorcar on Thesaurus.com
  1. Chiefly British. an automobile.
  2. Railroads. a self-propelled car for freight or passengers.
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Origin of motorcar

An Americanism dating back to 1885–90; motor + car1
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for motorcar

van, auto, bus, truck, automobile, car, wagon, ride, machine, pickup, motor, convertible, jeep, limousine, compact, wreck, buggy, bucket, conveyance, jalopy

Examples from the Web for motorcar

Contemporary Examples of motorcar

Historical Examples of motorcar

  • "It's the American gentleman that owns the motorcar," said Doyle.

    General John Regan

    George A. Birmingham

  • He walked, hat in hand, towards the stranger in the motorcar.

    General John Regan

    George A. Birmingham

  • As he spoke, the gates were opened and a motorcar drove through.

  • No farmhouse was in sight to which the motorcar might have gone.

    The Secret Wireless

    Lewis E. Theiss

  • I only borrowed a motorcar while the owners were at lunch; they had no need of it at the time.

British Dictionary definitions for motorcar


  1. a more formal word for car (def. 1)
  2. a self-propelled electric railway car
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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 motorcar


also motor-car, 1895 from motor (n.) + car.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper