tumbrel

or tum·bril

[tuhm-bruh l]
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noun
  1. one of the carts used during the French Revolution to convey victims to the guillotine.
  2. a farmer's cart, especially one for hauling manure, that can be tilted to discharge its load.
  3. Obsolete. a two-wheeled covered cart accompanying artillery for carrying tools, ammunition, etc.

Origin of tumbrel

1275–1325; Middle English tumberell ducking stool < Medieval Latin tumberellus < Old French tumberel dump-cart, equivalent to tombe(r) to fall (see tumble) + -rel -rel
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018


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Historical Examples of tumbrel


British Dictionary definitions for tumbrel

tumbrel

tumbril

noun
  1. a farm cart for carrying dung, esp one that tilts backwards to deposit its load. A cart of this type was used to take condemned prisoners to the guillotine during the French Revolution
  2. (formerly) a covered cart that accompanied artillery in order to carry ammunition, tools, etc
  3. an obsolete word for a ducking stool

Word Origin for tumbrel

C14 tumberell ducking stool, from Medieval Latin tumbrellum from Old French tumberel dump cart, from tomber to tumble, of Germanic origin
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 tumbrel
n.

mid-15c., "two-wheeled cart," earlier an instrument of punishment of uncertain type (early 13c.), from Old French tumberel "dump cart," from tomber "(let) fall or tumble," possibly from a Germanic source (cf. Old Norse tumba "to tumble," Old High German tumon "to turn, reel;" see tumble). Notoriously used to take victims to the guillotine during the Reign of Terror.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper