See more synonyms for train on
  1. Railroads. a self-propelled, connected group of rolling stock.
  2. a line or procession of persons, vehicles, animals, etc., traveling together.
  3. Military. an aggregation of vehicles, animals, and personnel accompanying an army to carry supplies, baggage, ammunition, etc.
  4. a series or row of objects or parts.
  5. Machinery. a connected set of three or more rotating elements, usually gears, through which force is transmitted, or motion or torque changed.
  6. order, especially proper order: Matters were in good train.
  7. something that is drawn along; a trailing part.
  8. an elongated part of a skirt or robe trailing behind on the ground.
  9. a trail or stream of something from a moving object.
  10. a line or succession of persons or things following one after the other.
  11. a body of followers or attendants; retinue.
  12. a series of proceedings, events, ideas, etc.
  13. the series of results or circumstances following or proceeding from an event, action, etc.; aftermath: Disease came in the train of war.
  14. a succession of connected ideas; a course of reasoning: to lose one's train of thought.
  15. Astronomy.
    1. the trace of light created by a meteor falling through the earth's atmosphere.
    2. the tail of a comet.
  16. a line of combustible material, as gunpowder, for leading fire to an explosive charge.
  17. Physics. a succession of wave fronts, oscillations, or the like.
verb (used with object)
  1. to develop or form the habits, thoughts, or behavior of (a child or other person) by discipline and instruction: to train an unruly boy.
  2. to make proficient by instruction and practice, as in some art, profession, or work: to train soldiers.
  3. to make (a person) fit by proper exercise, diet, practice, etc., as for an athletic performance.
  4. to discipline and instruct (an animal), as in the performance of tasks or tricks.
  5. to treat or manipulate so as to bring into some desired form, position, direction, etc.: to train one's hair to stay down.
  6. Horticulture. to bring (a plant, branch, etc.) into a particular shape or position, by bending, pruning, or the like.
  7. to bring to bear on some object; point, aim, or direct, as a firearm, camera, telescope, or eye.
  8. to entice; allure.
verb (used without object)
  1. to give the discipline and instruction, drill, practice, etc., designed to impart proficiency or efficiency.
  2. to undergo discipline and instruction, drill, etc.
  3. to get oneself into condition for an athletic performance through exercise, diet, practice, etc.
  4. to travel or go by train: to train to New York.

Origin of train

1350–1400; (v.) late Middle English traynyn to pull or drag in the rear < Middle French trainer, Old French tra(h)iner < Vulgar Latin *tragīnāre, derivative of *tragīna something dragged or drawn (compare Medieval Latin tragīna carriage), derivative of *tragere to pull, for Latin trahere; (noun) Middle English train, traine < Old French tra(h)in (masculine) series of people, animals, or things, tra(h)ine (feminine) something dragged behind, both derivative of tra(h)iner
Related formstrain·less, adjectivehalf-trained, adjectivemin·i·train, nounmis·train, verbnon·trained, adjectiveo·ver·train, verbpre·train, verb (used with object)self-trained, adjectivesem·i·trained, adjectivesu·per·train, verbun·der·train, verb (used with object)un·der·trained, adjectiveun·trained, adjectivewell-trained, adjective

Synonym study

18, 19. See teach.

Synonyms for train

See more synonyms for on Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for well-trained

Contemporary Examples of well-trained

Historical Examples of well-trained

  • Caligraphy was the item before them now, and on it they turned their well-trained brains.

    Howards End

    E. M. Forster

  • Suckers and water-sprouts are less common on well-trained vines.

  • No well-trained maid ever extends her hand to receive a visiting card.

  • He was not tethered or tied, for he was too well-trained to make that necessary.

    Two Boys in Wyoming

    Edward S. Ellis

  • Everything was done as artistically as the dance of a well-trained performer.

    Theodoric the Goth

    Thomas Hodgkin

British Dictionary definitions for well-trained


adjective (well trained when postpositive)
  1. having gained satisfactory training


  1. (tr) to guide or teach (to do something), as by subjecting to various exercises or experiencesto train a man to fight
  2. (tr) to control or guide towards a specific goalto train a plant up a wall
  3. (intr) to do exercises and prepare for a specific purposethe athlete trained for the Olympics
  4. (tr) to improve or curb by subjecting to disciplineto train the mind
  5. (tr) to focus or bring to bear (on something)to train a telescope on the moon
    1. a line of coaches or wagons coupled together and drawn by a railway locomotive
    2. (as modifier)a train ferry
  1. a sequence or series, as of events, thoughts, etca train of disasters
  2. a procession of people, vehicles, etc, travelling together, such as one carrying supplies of ammunition or equipment in support of a military operation
  3. a series of interacting parts through which motion is transmitteda train of gears
  4. a fuse or line of gunpowder to an explosive charge, etc
  5. something drawn along, such as the long back section of a dress that trails along the floor behind the wearer
  6. a retinue or suite
  7. proper order or course
Derived Formstrainable, adjectivetrainless, adjective

Word Origin for train

C14: from Old French trahiner, from Vulgar Latin tragīnāre (unattested) to draw; related to Latin trahere to drag
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 well-trained



early 14c., "a drawing out, delay," later "trailing part of a skirt" (mid-15c.), also "retinue, procession" (mid-15c.), from Old French train (fem. traine), from trainer "to pull, draw," from Vulgar Latin *traginare, extended from *tragere "to pull," back-formation from tractus, past participle of Latin trahere "to pull, draw" (see tract (n.1)).

Train of thought first attested 1650s. The railroad sense is recorded from 1820 (publication year, dated 1816), from notion of a "train" of wagons or carriages pulled by a mechanical engine.



"instruct, discipline, teach," 1540s, probably from earlier sense of "draw out and manipulate in order to bring to a desired form" (late 14c.), specifically of the growth of branches, vines, etc. from mid-15c.; from train (n.). The meaning "to travel by railway" is recorded from 1856. Related: Trained; training.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Idioms and Phrases with well-trained


In addition to the idiom beginning with train

  • train of thought

also see:

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