• synonyms


[moh-ter-sahy-kuh l]
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  1. motor vehicle
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verb (used without object), mo·tor·cy·cled, mo·tor·cy·cling.
  1. to ride on or operate a motorcycle.
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Origin of motorcycle

An Americanism dating back to 1890–95; motor + cycle
Related formsmo·tor·cy·clist [moh-ter-sahy-klist] /ˈmoʊ tərˌsaɪ klɪst/, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for motorcyclist


  1. Also called: motorbike a two-wheeled vehicle, having a stronger frame than a bicycle, that is driven by a petrol engine, usually with a capacity of between 125 cc and 1000 cc
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verb (intr)
  1. to ride on a motorcycle
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Derived Formsmotorcyclist, 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

Word Origin and History for motorcyclist



1895, a hybrid from motor + -cycle, from bicycle. Motocycle also was used late 19c.

The horse follows the crooks of a country road, but then the training of the "motorcycle" (horrid name) will inevitably straighten out the crooks in the country road, and afford long ranges of straight tracks. [Payson Burleigh, "The Age of Steel," Oct. 12, 1895]

Related: Motorcyclist.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper