- a rear part or compartment of an automobile body, containing seats for passengers.
- a complete automobile body having such a rear part.
- a waterproof cover, generally of canvas or vinyl, that can be fastened over the cockpit of a roadster or convertible to protect the interior.
Origin of tonneau
1900–05; < French: literally, cask; Old French tonel. See tunnel
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for tonneaux
Historical Examples of tonneaux
- Also called: tonneau cover
- a detachable cover to protect the rear part of an open car when it is not carrying passengers
- a similar cover that fits over all the passenger seats, but not the driver's, in an open vehicle
- rare the part of an open car in which the rear passengers sit
Word Origin for tonneau
C20: from French: special type of vehicle body, from Old French tonnel cask, from tonne tun
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
1901 as a part of an automobile, from French tonneau, literally "cask, tun." (see tun).
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper