Definitions

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

  • n. Chiefly British A large bus, typically used for sightseeing.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A horse-drawn, and then later, motorized omnibus with open sides, and often, no roof.

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

  • n. a vehicle carrying many passengers; used for public transport

Etymologies

From French char à bancs : char, coach, carriage (from Old French, cart; see chariot) + à, with (from Latin ad, toward; see ad-) + bancs, benches, pl. of banc (from Old French; see bank3).
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From French char-à-bancs ("a carriage with benches"). (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • You've no doubt guessed the festive twist already; yes, instead of trundling around sunny southern Europe, the titular charabanc will slowly wend its way to Lapland, culminating in a meeting with "the real Father Christmas".

    It's a good week for … Spurious Festive Specials

  • From a charabanc hung red, green and white flags at every window.

    A Small Death in the Great Glen

  • My mother was once in a charabanc that went under a railway bridge in Bedfordshire and then slowly tipped over and deposited them all into a ditch.

    Chez Moi

  • They were going to Clacton in what he called a “charabanc.”

    Portobello

  • Once again he saw himself, as if in a nightmare, watching impotently as the bizarre charabanc of facts and conjecture hurtled on its predestined course.

    She Closed Her Eyes

  • I never thought that anything could make Alma or the Kabul retreat seem like a charabanc picnic, but that day did, and I was through it, dawn to dusk, as no other man was.

    The Sky Writer

  • Paying for a charabanc for a trip to London for a Rowen led protest.

    The Thursday Cyril: Rochdale Lib Dems Brickwall

  • Who needs to worry about defectors when you have someone inside the Government, shoving a brick on the accellerator and pointing the party charabanc at a wall...

    Hazel Blears Calls it As She Sees It

  • To hear some of my friends in politics and political journalism talk, you would think that democracy is a kind of jolly charabanc on to which all reasonable citizens have clambered, even if we may argue about the route.

    Archive 2004-06-06

  • On cold, wet, ragged mornings they were all like that in my first year I'd board this ice-box of a charabanc and be greeted, without fail, with the same transmission comprising of music videos for 'Black Hole Sun' by Soundgarden and 'Out Of Tears' by The Rolling Stones.

    Archive 2005-11-01

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