Definitions

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

  • n. A light, four-wheeled open carriage, usually drawn by a pair of horses.
  • n. A touring car.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. a light four-wheeled open carriage drawn by four horses
  • n. a large open touring motorcar with a folding top

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A four-wheeled carriage (with or without a top), open, or having no side pieces, in front of the seat. It is drawn by one or two horses.
  • n. See Phaëthon.
  • n. A handsome American butterfly (Euphydryas Phaëton syn. Melitæa Phaëton). The upper side of the wings is black, with orange-red spots and marginal crescents, and several rows of cream-colored spots; -- called also Baltimore.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A high open four-wheeled carriage: as, a park phaëton; a mail phaëton. See cut on following page.
  • n. A low open four-wheeled carriage, drawn by one or two horses: as, a pony-phaëton.
  • n. [capitalized] [NL.] In ornithology, same as Phaëthon.

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

  • n. large open car seating four with folding top

Etymologies

French phaéton, from Phaeton, Phaethon, from Old French, from Latin Phaethōn; see Phaëthon.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)

Examples

  • Our phaeton was a small, white, swan-shaped carriage, ornamented with golden designs, and propelled by a galvanic battery in the graceful swan-head, which at my request took the place of the ordinary steed.

    Strange Visitors

  • The phaeton was a very handsome affair; the horses arched their necks and lifted up their legs as if they knew they belonged to Doctors’ Commons.

    XXVI. I Fall into Captivity

  • It may be briefly defined as a phaeton without springs.

    Russia

  • Although provincial acting is not of the high class which conceals the art, this man's look beside him and behind him at vacant seats had incontestable evidence in support of his declaration, that the lady and gentleman had gone on by themselves: the phaeton was a box of flown birds.

    Lord Ormont and His Aminta — Volume 4

  • The phaeton was a very handsome affair; the horses arched their necks and lifted up their legs as if they knew they belonged to Doctors 'Commons.

    David Copperfield

  • The phaeton was a very handsome affair; the horses arched their necks and lifted up their legs as if they knew they belonged to

    David Copperfield

  • The little basket-carriage in which Nina made her excursions, and which courtesy called a phaeton, would scarcely have been taken as a model at

    Lord Kilgobbin

  • As soon as he could get together the money -- and it was not long after he set about making others work for him -- he bought a buggy, a kind of phaeton, and a safe horse.

    The Conflict

  • The phaeton was a very handsome affair; the horses arched their necks and lifted up their legs as if they knew they belonged to Doctors’

    David Copperfield

  • Change into day dress and drive in a phaeton behind a matched pair to the Casino, or to shop.

    American Resorts: Newport | Edwardian Promenade

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Comments

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  • Usage on barouche.

    Every time I see this word, I start quoting this:

    Down, down I come, like glist'ring Phaëton,
    Wanting the manage of unruly jades.
    In the base court? Base court, where kings grow base,
    To come at traitors' calls and do them grace.
    In the base court, come down? Down court! Down king!
    For night-owls shriek where mounting larks should sing.
    (Wm. Shakespeare, Richard II, III.iii.178–183)

    October 22, 2008

  • A hypothetical planet between Mars and Jupiter that was suggested by Heinrich Wilhelm Matthäus Olbers. He supposed that the planet's destruction formed the Asteroid Belt. Some scientists refer to this proposed planet as Tiamat. (Wikipedia)

    May 25, 2008

  • Then there's the recently discovered ancient parchment -
    "Pythons on a Phaeton" (said to have been a particular favorite of the Gorgon set).

    February 6, 2008

  • The name phaeton derives from a Greek mythological character, Phaethon, who almost set the world on fire with his reckless driving. This type of carriage was made of wicker, making it quite lightweight. The Phaeton was intended for pleasure driving.

    He drove a great roomy, double "phaeton" drawn by two satin bay horses.
    _From Pat of Silver Bush by L.M. Montgomery, 1933

    February 6, 2008

  • Four people, each with his or her own folding top. On his or her head.

    December 29, 2007

  • See also phaethon.

    Wait... does the WeirdNet definition mean that it seats four (presumably people) who have folding tops? Or four people who have one folding top between them?

    December 22, 2007