See more synonyms for trailer on
  1. a large van or wagon drawn by an automobile, truck, or tractor, used especially in hauling freight by road.Compare full trailer, semitrailer.
  2. Also called travel trailer. a vehicle attached to an automobile and used as a mobile home or place of business, usually equipped with furniture, kitchen facilities, bathroom, etc.Compare tent trailer.
  3. a person or thing that trails.
  4. a trailing plant.
  5. a short promotional film composed of clips showing highlights of a movie due for release in the near future.
  6. blank film at the end of a reel or strip of film, for winding off the film in a motion-picture camera or projector.Compare leader(def 6).
  7. Ceramics. a can with a spout, used in slip trailing.

Origin of trailer

First recorded in 1580–90; trail + -er1 Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for trailer

clip, ad, advertisement, teaser, prevue, promo

Examples from the Web for trailer

Contemporary Examples of trailer

Historical Examples of trailer

  • "We can come back and look at your trailer tomorrow in daylight," said Rush.

    Old Rambling House

    Frank Patrick Herbert

  • He thought of the trailer: A good one, but not worth more than seven thousand.

    Old Rambling House

    Frank Patrick Herbert

  • "That's the way I feel," answered the trailer, and his tone was conclusive.

  • Never lose the chance of the first snow if you wish to become a trailer.

    Boy Scouts Handbook

    Boy Scouts of America

  • Roberts picked up from the fort a Mescalero Apache famous as a trailer.

    Oh, You Tex!

    William Macleod Raine

British Dictionary definitions for trailer


  1. a road vehicle, usually two-wheeled, towed by a motor vehicle: used for transporting boats, etc
  2. the part of an articulated lorry that is drawn by the cab
  3. a series of short extracts from a film, used to advertise it in a cinema or on television
  4. a person or thing that trails
  5. US and Canadian a large enclosed vehicle capable of being pulled by a car or lorry and equipped to be lived inAlso called (in Britain and certain other countries): caravan
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 trailer

1890, "vehicle pulled by another," agent noun from trail (v.); originally a small carriage drawn along by a bicycle. Meaning "preview of a coming movie" first attested 1928. Trailer park recorded by 1936. Trailer trash in use by 1986.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper