[ sem-i-trey-ler ]
/ ˈsɛm ɪˌtreɪ lər /


Also called semi. a detachable trailer for hauling freight, with wheels at the rear end, the forward end being supported by the rear of a truck tractor when attached.Compare full trailer.

Origin of semitrailer

First recorded in 1915–20; semi- + trailer Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for semi-trailer

  • My father-in-law and I puttered and pounded, strengthened and tightened, until we felt our semi-trailer was in good-enough order.

British Dictionary definitions for semi-trailer


/ (ˌsɛmɪˈtreɪlə) /


a type of trailer or articulated lorry that has wheels only at the rear, the front end being supported by the towing vehicle
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 semi-trailer



also semitrailer, 1910 in reference to motor vehicles (late 19c. in botany), from semi- + trailer.Short form semi is attested from 1942.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper