Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A series of connected railroad cars pulled or pushed by one or more locomotives.
  • n. A long line of moving people, animals, or vehicles.
  • n. The personnel, vehicles, and equipment following and providing supplies and services to a combat unit.
  • n. A part of a gown that trails behind the wearer.
  • n. A staff of people following in attendance; a retinue.
  • n. An orderly succession of related events or thoughts; a sequence. See Synonyms at series.
  • n. A series of consequences wrought by an event; aftermath.
  • n. A set of linked mechanical parts: a train of gears.
  • n. A string of gunpowder that acts as a fuse for exploding a charge.
  • transitive v. To coach in or accustom to a mode of behavior or performance.
  • transitive v. To make proficient with specialized instruction and practice. See Synonyms at teach.
  • transitive v. To prepare physically, as with a regimen: train athletes for track-and-field competition.
  • transitive v. To cause (a plant or one's hair) to take a desired course or shape, as by manipulating.
  • transitive v. To focus on or aim at (a goal, mark, or target); direct. See Synonyms at aim.
  • transitive v. To let drag behind; trail.
  • intransitive v. To give or undergo a course of training: trained daily for the marathon.
  • intransitive v. To travel by railroad train.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. Elongated portion.
  • n. Connected sequence of people or things.
  • v. To practice an ability.
  • v. To teach a task.
  • v. To improve one's fitness.
  • v. To proceed in sequence.
  • v. To move (a gun) laterally so that it points in a different direction.
  • v. To encourage (a plant or branch) to grow in a particular direction or shape, usually by pruning and bending.
  • v. To create a trainer for; to apply cheats to (a game).

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n.
  • transitive v. To draw along; to trail; to drag.
  • transitive v. To draw by persuasion, artifice, or the like; to attract by stratagem; to entice; to allure.
  • transitive v. To teach and form by practice; to educate; to exercise; to discipline
  • transitive v. To break, tame, and accustom to draw, as oxen.
  • transitive v. To lead or direct, and form to a wall or espalier; to form to a proper shape, by bending, lopping, or pruning.
  • transitive v. To trace, as a lode or any mineral appearance, to its head.
  • intransitive v. To be drilled in military exercises; to do duty in a military company.
  • intransitive v. To prepare by exercise, diet, instruction, etc., for any physical contest.
  • n. That which draws along; especially, persuasion, artifice, or enticement; allurement.
  • n. Hence, something tied to a lure to entice a hawk; also, a trap for an animal; a snare.
  • n. That which is drawn along in the rear of, or after, something; that which is in the hinder part or rear.
  • n. That part of a gown which trails behind the wearer.
  • n. The after part of a gun carriage; the trail.
  • n. The tail of a bird.
  • n. A number of followers; a body of attendants; a retinue; a suite.
  • n. A consecution or succession of connected things; a series.
  • n. Regular method; process; course; order.
  • n. The number of beats of a watch in any certain time.
  • n. A line of gunpowder laid to lead fire to a charge, mine, or the like.
  • n. A connected line of cars or carriages on a railroad; -- called also railroad train.
  • n. A heavy, long sleigh used in Canada for the transportation of merchandise, wood, and the like.
  • n. A roll train.
  • n. The aggregation of men, animals, and vehicles which accompany an army or one of its subdivisions, and transport its baggage, ammunition, supplies, and reserve materials of all kinds.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To draw or drag along; trail.
  • To draw by artifice, stratagem, persuasion, or the like; entice; allure.
  • To bring into some desired course or state by means of some process of instruction and exercise.
  • To make proficient or efficient, as in some art or profession, by instruction, exercise, or discipline; make proficient by instruction or drill: as, to train nurses; to train soldiers.
  • To tame or render docile; exercise m the performance of certain tasks or tricks: as, to train dogs or monkeys.
  • To fit by proper exercise and regimen for the performance of some feat; render capable of enduring the strain incident to a contest of any kind, by a course of suitable exercise, regimen, etc.; put in suitable condition, as for a race, by preparatory exercise, etc.: as, to train a boat's crew for a race.
  • To give proper or some particular shape or direction to by systematic manipulation or extension; specifically, in gardening, to extend the branches of, as on a wall, espalier, etc.
  • To bring to bear; direct or aim carefully: as, to train a gun upon a vessel or a fort.
  • Synonyms To school, habituate, inure. See instruction.
  • To be attracted or lured.
  • To exercise; impart proficiency by practice and use; drill; discipline.
  • To fit one's self for the performance of some feat by preparatory regimen and exercise.
  • To be under training, as a recruit for the army; be drilled for military service.
  • To travel by train or by rail: sometimes with an indefinite it.
  • To consort with; be on familiar terms with: as, I don't train with that crowd. Compare def. 4.
  • To romp; carry on.
  • n. That which is drawn along behind, or which forms the hinder part; a trail.
  • n. The tail of a comet or of a meteor
  • n. The tail of a bird, especially when long, large, or conspicuous. See cuts under Argus, peafowl, Phaëthon, Phasianus, Promerops, Terpsiphone, and Trogonidæ.
  • n. That part of the carriage of a field-gun which rests upon the ground when the gun is unlimbered or in position for firing; the trail.
  • n. A following; a body of followers or attendants; a retinue.
  • n. A succession of connected things or events; a series: as, a train of circumstances.
  • n. In machinery, a set of wheels, or wheels and pinions in series, through which motion is transmitted consecutively: as, the train of a watch (that is, the wheels intervening between the barrel and the escapement); the going-train of a clock (that by which the hands are turned); the striking-train (that by which the striking part is actuated).
  • n. In metal-working, two or more pairs of connected rolls in a rolling-mill worked as one system; a set of rolls used in rolling various metals, especially puddled iron and steel; a roll-train.
  • n. A connected line of carriages, cars, or wagons moving or intended to be moved on a railway.
  • n. A string or file of animals on the march.
  • n. A line of combustible material to lead fire to a charge or mine: same as squib, 2.
  • n. A company in order; a procession.
  • n. Suitable or proper sequence, order, or arrangement; course; process: as, everything is now in train for a settlement.
  • n. A kind of sleigh used in Canada for the transportation of merchandise, wood, etc.
  • n. The lure used to recall a hawk.
  • n. Something intended to allure or entice; wile; stratagem; artifice; a plot or scheme.
  • n. A snare; net; trap; ambush.
  • n. Treason; treachery; deceit.
  • n. A train limited to first-class passengers.
  • n. Same as train-oil.

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

  • v. teach or refine to be discriminative in taste or judgment
  • v. teach and supervise (someone); act as a trainer or coach (to), as in sports
  • v. exercise in order to prepare for an event or competition
  • n. a procession (of wagons or mules or camels) traveling together in single file
  • v. develop (children's) behavior by instruction and practice; especially to teach self-control
  • n. a sequentially ordered set of things or events or ideas in which each successive member is related to the preceding
  • v. create by training and teaching
  • v. educate for a future role or function
  • n. piece of cloth forming the long back section of a gown that is drawn along the floor
  • v. undergo training or instruction in preparation for a particular role, function, or profession
  • n. public transport provided by a line of railway cars coupled together and drawn by a locomotive
  • n. a series of consequences wrought by an event
  • v. travel by rail or train
  • v. drag loosely along a surface; allow to sweep the ground
  • v. point or cause to go (blows, weapons, or objects such as photographic equipment) towards
  • v. cause to grow in a certain way by tying and pruning it
  • n. wheelwork consisting of a connected set of rotating gears by which force is transmitted or motion or torque is changed

Etymologies

Middle English, trailing part of a gown, from Old French, from trainer, to drag, from Vulgar Latin *tragīnāre, from *tragere, to pull, back-formation from tractus, past participle of Latin trahere.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Middle English, from Old French train ("a delay, a drawing out"), from trainer ("to pull out, to draw"), from Vulgar Latin *tragināre, from *tragere, from Latin trahere ("to pull, to draw"). The verb was derived from the noun in Middle English. (Wiktionary)
From Anglo-Norman trayne, Middle French traïne, from traïr ("to betray"). (Wiktionary)

Examples

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  • Or think of a decent young citizen in a toga--perhaps too much dice, you know--coming out here in the train of some prefect, or tax-gatherer, or trader even, to mend his fortunes. -- Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad

    Assuming this is #5 on the American Heritage Dictionary definition...

    March 5, 2011