See more synonyms for piggyback on Thesaurus.com
  1. astride the back or shoulders: a piggyback ride.
  2. sharing commercial time, space, etc.: piggyback advertising.
  3. carryable or attachable: a piggyback turbine unit.
  4. added or tacked on; supplementary: a piggyback clause.
  5. noting or pertaining to the carrying of one vehicle or the like by another, as the carrying of loaded truck trailers on flatcars.
verb (used with object)
  1. to attach or ally to as or as if a part of the same thing: to piggyback human rights agreements with foreign aid.
  2. to carry (somebody) on the back or shoulders.
  3. to carry (truck trailers) by railroad on flatcars.
  4. Radio and Television Slang. to advertise (two or more products) in the same commercial.
verb (used without object)
  1. to be transported aboard or atop another carrier: The space shuttle piggybacked on the airplane.
  2. to use, appropriate, or exploit the availability, services, or facilities of another: private clinics piggybacking on federal health-care facilities.
  3. to carry truck trailers by railroad on flatcars.
  1. a house trailer designed to fit over a pickup truck.
  2. a truck trailer carried on a flatcar.
  3. anything that operates in connection with or as part of another.
Also pickaback (for defs 1, 2).

Origin of piggyback

First recorded in 1580–90; alteration of pickaback
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for piggyback

Contemporary Examples of piggyback

Historical Examples of piggyback

  • Anketam, you could carry me piggyback, while Blejjo goes over to fetch my pole.

    The Destroyers

    Gordon Randall Garrett

  • Piggyback Service economies - These are economies, which provide predator economies with services.

    After the Rain

    Sam Vaknin

British Dictionary definitions for piggyback



  1. a ride on the back and shoulders of another person
  2. a system whereby a vehicle, aircraft, etc, is transported for part of its journey on another vehicle, such as a flat railway wagon, another aircraft, etc
  1. on the back and shoulders of another person
  2. on or as an addition to something else
  1. of or for a piggybacka piggyback ride; piggyback lorry trains
  2. of or relating to a type of heart transplant in which the transplanted heart functions in conjunction with the patient's own heart
verb (tr)
  1. to give (a person) a piggyback on one's back and shoulders
  2. to transport (one vehicle) on another
  3. (intr often foll by on) to exploit an existing resource, system, or product
  4. (tr) to attach to or mount on (an existing piece of equipment or system)
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 piggyback

1823, probably a folk etymology alteration of pick pack (1560s), which perhaps is from pick, a dialectal variant of pitch (v.1). As a verb from 1952.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper