a public vehicle running regularly along certain streets, usually on rails, as a trolley car or trolley bus.

Origin of streetcar

An Americanism dating back to 1860–65; street + car1 Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for street-car

Historical Examples of street-car

  • He had ridden to the end of the street-car line, and started his walk from there.


    Mary Roberts Rinehart

  • He pondered it on his way back to the street-car, as he struggled against the wind.


    Mary Roberts Rinehart

  • But I'm getting homesick to see a street-car and a—a policeman!

    Four Girls and a Compact

    Annie Hamilton Donnell

  • Not any better than her mistress, however, who at this moment was hailing a street-car.

  • On and on the street-car rumbled; one by one the workmen brushed by her and got out.

    In the Border Country

    Josephine Daskam Bacon

British Dictionary definitions for street-car



US and Canadian an electrically driven public transport vehicle that runs on rails let into the surface of the road, power usually being taken from an overhead wireAlso called: trolley car, (esp Brit) tram, tramcar
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 street-car

1859, from street (n.) + car (n.).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper