See more synonyms for trot on
verb (used without object), trot·ted, trot·ting.
  1. (of a horse) to go at a gait between a walk and a run, in which the legs move in diagonal pairs, but not quite simultaneously, so that when the movement is slow one foot at least is always on the ground, and when fast all four feet are momentarily off the ground at once.
  2. to go at a quick, steady pace; move briskly; bustle; hurry.
verb (used with object), trot·ted, trot·ting.
  1. to cause to trot.
  2. to ride (a horse) at a trot.
  3. to lead at a trot.
  4. to travel over by trotting: to spend the day trotting the country byways.
  5. to execute by trotting.
  1. the gait of a horse, dog, or other quadruped, when trotting.
  2. the sound made by an animal when trotting.
  3. the jogging gait of a human being, between a walk and a run.
  4. Harness Racing. a race for trotters.
  5. brisk, continuous movement or activity: I've been on the trot all afternoon.
  6. Archaic: Disparaging. an old woman.
  7. Slang. a literal translation used illicitly in doing schoolwork; crib; pony.
  8. the trots, Informal. diarrhea.
  9. Informal. a toddling child.
Verb Phrases
  1. trot out, Informal.
    1. to bring forward for inspection.
    2. to bring to the attention of; introduce; submit: He trots out his old jokes at every party.

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. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for trotting

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

Examples from the Web for trotting

Contemporary Examples of trotting

Historical Examples of trotting

  • His conversation seemed to be shaken out of him by the trotting of the horse.

  • The horses started off with us, trotting in that weary way peculiar to tourists' horses.

    My Double Life

    Sarah Bernhardt

  • They were trotting toward me in the highway, hardly a hundred yards off.

    The Cavalier

    George Washington Cable

  • I am weary of trotting up and down like a lust-ritter at a fair,' said he.

    Micah Clarke

    Arthur Conan Doyle

  • He was roused from his reverie by the sound of a trotting horse.

    Vivian Grey

    Earl of Beaconsfield, Benjamin Disraeli

British Dictionary definitions for trotting


verb trots, trotting or trotted
  1. to move or cause to move at a trot
  2. 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
  1. 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
  2. a steady brisk pace
  3. (in harness racing) a race for horses that have been trained to trot fast
  4. angling
    1. one of the short lines attached to a trotline
    2. the trotline
  5. Australian and NZ informal a run of lucka good trot
  6. mainly British a small child; tot
  7. US slang a student's crib
  8. on the trot informal
    1. one after the otherto read two books on the trot
    2. busy, esp on one's feet
  9. 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


  1. 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 trotting



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 trotting


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.