[ trahy-si-kuh l, -sik-uh l ]
/ ˈtraɪ sɪ kəl, -ˌsɪk əl /


a vehicle, especially one for children, having one large front wheel and two small rear wheels, propelled by foot pedals.
a velocipede with three wheels propelled by pedals or hand levers.
a three-wheeled motorcycle.

Origin of tricycle

From French, dating back to 1820–30; see origin at tri-, cycle Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for tricycle

British Dictionary definitions for tricycle


/ (ˈtraɪsɪkəl) /


a three-wheeled cycle, esp one driven by pedals
a three-wheeler for invalids


(intr) to ride a tricycle
Derived Formstricyclist, noun
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 tricycle



1828, "three-wheeled horse-drawn carriage," from French tricycle (1827); see tri- + cycle (n.). The pedal-powered version is first attested 1868.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper