Origin of trot

1250–1300; (v.) Middle English trotten < Middle French troter < Germanic; akin to Old High German trottōn to tread, whence Middle High German trotten to run; (noun) Middle English < Middle French, derivative of troter
Related formsun·trot·ted, adjective

Usage note

The meaning “old woman” is archaic, used with disparaging intent especially in contexts where the woman is regarded as mean, ugly, etc.




a short line with hooks, attached to the trotline.

Origin of trot

First recorded in 1880–85; short for trotline
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Related Words for trot

scamper, hurry, amble, lope, jog, canter, run, ride, pad, go, rack

Examples from the Web for trot

Contemporary Examples of trot

Historical Examples of trot

  • They urged their horses into a trot, and soon found that Dick was right.

    The Rock of Chickamauga

    Joseph A. Altsheler

  • "You must a-been born with all your teeth," said the private, as we quickened to a trot.

    The Cavalier

    George Washington Cable

  • It was almost nowhere possible to trot, and we had to plod on, step by step.

  • Now we can trot our beasts and not be smothered in other folk's dust.

    Micah Clarke

    Arthur Conan Doyle

  • When we made our way out on the bank, the horses were all put to the trot.

    A Hero of Our Time

    M. Y. Lermontov

British Dictionary definitions for trot


verb trots, trotting or trotted

to move or cause to move at a trot
angling to fish (a fast-moving stream or river) by using a float and weighted line that carries the baited hook just above the bottom


a gait of a horse or other quadruped, faster than a walk, in which diagonally opposite legs come down togetherSee also jog trot, rising trot, sitting trot
a steady brisk pace
(in harness racing) a race for horses that have been trained to trot fast
  1. one of the short lines attached to a trotline
  2. the trotline
Australian and NZ informal a run of lucka good trot
mainly British a small child; tot
US slang a student's crib
on the trot informal
  1. one after the otherto read two books on the trot
  2. busy, esp on one's feet
the trots informal
  1. diarrhoea
  2. NZtrotting races

Word Origin for trot

C13: from Old French trot, from troter to trot, of Germanic origin; related to Middle High German trotten to run



informal a follower of Trotsky; Trotskyist
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 trot

c.1300, from Old French trot (12c.), from troter "to trot, to go," from Frankish *trotton (cf. Old High German trotton "to tread"), from a variant of the Germanic base of tread (v.). The trots "diarrhea" is recorded from 1808 (cf. the runs).


late 14c., from Old French troter "to trot, to go," from Frankish *trotton (see trot (n.). Italian trottare, Spanish trotar also are borrowed from Germanic. To trot (something) out originally (1838) was in reference to horses; figurative sense of "produce and display for admiration" is slang first recorded 1845. Related: Trotted; trotting.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Idioms and Phrases with trot


In addition to the idiom beginning with trot

  • trot out

also see:

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