- one of the carts used during the French Revolution to convey victims to the guillotine.
- a farmer's cart, especially one for hauling manure, that can be tilted to discharge its load.
- Obsolete. a two-wheeled covered cart accompanying artillery for carrying tools, ammunition, etc.
Origin of tumbrel
Related Words for tumbrilvan, car, cart, carriage, caravan, chariot, lorry, coach, tram, buggy, dray, caisson, schooner, wain, buckboard, camion, tumbril, barouche, fourgon, gilly
Examples from the Web for tumbril
Historical Examples of tumbril
The second tumbril empties and moves on; the third comes up.A Tale of Two Cities
The tumbril and the guillotine would not have made her weep.The Paliser case
The bodies of the victims were placed in a tumbril lighted by torches.The Memoirs of Victor Hugo
Up the Canongate comes the rumbling of a tumbril, like the French Revolution.The Spell of Scotland
Then she was put into the tumbril, and was started on her way to the scaffold.Superwomen
Albert Payson Terhune
- 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
- (formerly) a covered cart that accompanied artillery in order to carry ammunition, tools, etc
- an obsolete word for a ducking stool
Word Origin for tumbrel
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.