[ treyn ]
See synonyms for: traintrainedtraining on

  1. Railroads. a self-propelled, connected group of rolling stock.

  2. a line or procession of persons, vehicles, animals, etc., traveling together.

  1. Military. an aggregation of vehicles, animals, and personnel accompanying an army to carry supplies, baggage, ammunition, etc.

  2. a series or row of objects or parts.

  3. Machinery. a connected set of three or more rotating elements, usually gears, through which force is transmitted, or motion or torque changed.

  4. order, especially proper order: Matters were in good train.

  5. something that is drawn along; a trailing part.

  6. an elongated part of a skirt or robe trailing behind on the ground.

  7. a trail or stream of something from a moving object.

  8. a line or succession of persons or things following one after the other.

  9. a body of followers or attendants; retinue.

  10. a series of proceedings, events, ideas, etc.

  11. the series of results or circumstances following or proceeding from an event, action, etc.; aftermath: Disease came in the train of war.

  12. a succession of connected ideas; a course of reasoning: to lose one's train of thought.

  13. Astronomy.

    • the trace of light created by a meteor falling through the earth's atmosphere.

    • the tail of a comet.

  14. a line of combustible material, as gunpowder, for leading fire to an explosive charge.

  15. Physics. a succession of wave fronts, oscillations, or the like.

verb (used with object)
  1. to develop or form the habits, thoughts, or behavior of (a child or other person) by discipline and instruction: to train an unruly boy.

  2. to make proficient by instruction and practice, as in some art, profession, or work: to train soldiers.

  1. to make (a person) fit by proper exercise, diet, practice, etc., as for an athletic performance.

  2. to discipline and instruct (an animal), as in the performance of tasks or tricks.

  3. to treat or manipulate so as to bring into some desired form, position, direction, etc.: to train one's hair to stay down.

  4. Horticulture. to bring (a plant, branch, etc.) into a particular shape or position, by bending, pruning, or the like.

  5. to bring to bear on some object; point, aim, or direct, as a firearm, camera, telescope, or eye.

  6. Archaic. to entice; allure.

verb (used without object)
  1. to give the discipline and instruction, drill, practice, etc., designed to impart proficiency or efficiency.

  2. to undergo discipline and instruction, drill, etc.

  1. to get oneself into condition for an athletic performance through exercise, diet, practice, etc.

  2. to travel or go by train: to train to New York.

Origin of train

First 1350–1400; (verb) late Middle English traynyn “to pull or drag in the rear,” from Middle French trainer, Old French tra(h)iner, from unattested Vulgar Latin tragīnāre, derivative of unrecorded tragīna “something dragged or drawn” (compare Medieval Latin tragīna “carriage”), derivative of unattested tragere “to pull,” for Latin trahere; (noun) Middle English train, traine, from Old French tra(h)in (masculine) “series of people, animals, or things,” tra(h)ine (feminine) “something dragged behind,” both derivative of tra(h)iner

synonym study For train

18, 19. See teach.

Other words for train

Other words from train

  • train·less, adjective
  • half-trained, adjective
  • min·i·train, noun
  • mis·train, verb
  • non·trained, adjective
  • o·ver·train, verb
  • pre·train, verb (used with object)
  • self-trained, adjective
  • sem·i·trained, adjective
  • su·per·train, verb
  • un·der·train, verb (used with object)
  • un·der·trained, adjective
  • un·trained, adjective
  • well-trained, adjective

Words Nearby train Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use train in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for train


/ (treɪn) /

  1. (tr) to guide or teach (to do something), as by subjecting to various exercises or experiences: to train a man to fight

  2. (tr) to control or guide towards a specific goal: to train a plant up a wall

  1. (intr) to do exercises and prepare for a specific purpose: the athlete trained for the Olympics

  2. (tr) to improve or curb by subjecting to discipline: to train the mind

  3. (tr) to focus or bring to bear (on something): to train a telescope on the moon

    • a line of coaches or wagons coupled together and drawn by a railway locomotive

    • (as modifier): a train ferry

  1. a sequence or series, as of events, thoughts, etc: a train of disasters

  1. a procession of people, vehicles, etc, travelling together, such as one carrying supplies of ammunition or equipment in support of a military operation

  2. a series of interacting parts through which motion is transmitted: a train of gears

  3. a fuse or line of gunpowder to an explosive charge, etc

  4. something drawn along, such as the long back section of a dress that trails along the floor behind the wearer

  5. a retinue or suite

  6. proper order or course

Origin of train

C14: from Old French trahiner, from Vulgar Latin tragīnāre (unattested) to draw; related to Latin trahere to drag

Derived forms of train

  • trainable, adjective
  • trainless, adjective

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

Other Idioms and Phrases with train


In addition to the idiom beginning with train

  • train of thought

also see:

  • gravy train

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.