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

  • n. Chiefly British A streetcar.
  • n. Chiefly British A streetcar line.
  • n. A cable car, especially one suspended from an overhead cable.
  • n. A four-wheeled, open, box-shaped wagon or iron car run on tracks in a coal mine.
  • transitive v. To move or convey in a tram.
  • n. An instrument for gauging and adjusting machine parts; a trammel.
  • n. Accurate mechanical adjustment: The device is in tram.
  • transitive v. To adjust or align (mechanical parts) with a trammel.
  • n. A heavy silk thread used for the weft, or cross threads, in fine velvet or silk.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A passenger vehicle for public use that runs on tracks in the road.
  • n. A similar vehicle for carrying materials.
  • v. To transport (material) by tram.
  • n. A silk thread formed of two or more threads twisted together, used especially for the weft, or cross threads, of the best quality of velvets and silk goods.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A four-wheeled truck running on rails, and used in a mine, as for carrying coal or ore.
  • n. The shaft of a cart.
  • n. One of the rails of a tramway.
  • n. A car on a horse railroad.
  • n. A silk thread formed of two or more threads twisted together, used especially for the weft, or cross threads, of the best quality of velvets and silk goods.
  • n. Same as trammel, n., 6.
  • intransitive v. To operate, or conduct the business of, a tramway; to travel by tramway.
  • transitive v. To convey or transport on a tramway or on a tram car.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To use a trammel or distance gage in order to get. two shafts, or other axes, parallel to one another, or at right angles to another axis to which both are to be perpendicular.
  • To move or transport on a tramway.
  • To operate a tram; also, to travel by tram.
  • n. See tramway, 2.
  • n. A beam or bar: as, gallows trams.
  • n. The shaft of a cart, wheelbarrow, or vehicle of any kind.
  • n. A plank road.
  • n. One of the two parallel lines of rails which form a tramway.
  • n. A tramway.
  • n. A four-wheeled car or wagon used in coal-mines, especially in the north of England, for conveying the coals from the working-places to the pit-bottom, or from the pit-mouth to the place of shipment.
  • n. Same as tram-car.
  • n. In a grinding-mill, position perpendicular to the face of the bedstone: said of a spindle. See tramming.
  • n. A machine; a contrivance.
  • n. A device, resembling a trammel, used for shaping oval molds, etc.
  • n. A kind of double silk thread, in which two or move strands or singles are twisted together in a direction contrary to the twist of the singles, used for the weft or cross-threads of gros-de-Naples velvets, flowered silks, and the best varieties of silk goods. Also called shute.

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

  • n. a conveyance that transports passengers or freight in carriers suspended from cables and supported by a series of towers
  • v. travel by tram
  • n. a four-wheeled wagon that runs on tracks in a mine
  • n. a wheeled vehicle that runs on rails and is propelled by electricity


Scots, shaft of a barrow, probably from Middle Flemish.
Short for trammel.
Middle English, contrivance, from Old French traime, contrivance, weft, from Latin trāma, weft, woof.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
Probably from Middle Dutch trame. The popular derivation from tramway builder Benjamin Outram is false: the term pre-dated him. (Wiktionary)
Spanish trama weft, or French trame. (Wiktionary)



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