from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun An occupation or other source of income that requires little effort while yielding considerable profit.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun idiomatic An occupation or any lucrative endeavor that generates considerable income whilst requiring little effort and carrying little risk.
  • noun idiomatic, politics A gorging on luxuries, since someone else foots the bill.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • noun income obtained with a minimum of effort


from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

The word gravy by itself was used prior to any attestable use of gravy train to characterise 'cushy' situations. It is a shortening of the phrase riding the gravy train, rather than train referring to a number of individuals going the same way or a way of teaching people.


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  • This conjures up a rather bizarre image for me.

    November 24, 2007

  • Why's that, SonofGroucho? How do you lade your gravy boats?

    November 24, 2007

  • And did we tell you the name of the game, boy?

    We call it riding the gravy train.

    November 25, 2007