Definitions

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

  • noun A two-wheeled carriage drawn by horses harnessed one before the other.
  • noun A team of carriage horses harnessed in single file.
  • noun A tandem bicycle.
  • noun An arrangement of two or more persons or objects placed one behind or adjacent to the other.
  • adjective Having two identical components arranged one behind or adjacent to the other.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun In electricity, in series.
  • One behind the other; in single file: as, to drive tandem (that is, with two or more horses harnessed singly one before the other instead of abreast).
  • noun A pair of horses (sometimes more) harnessed one before the other.
  • noun A carriage drawn by two or more horses harnessed one before the other.
  • noun A bicycle or tricycle on which two can ride, one in front of the other.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • adverb One after another; -- said especially of horses harnessed and driven one before another, instead of abreast.
  • noun A team of horses harnessed one before the other.
  • noun A tandem bicycle or other vehicle.
  • noun one for two persons in which one rider sits before the other.

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

  • noun A bicycle with two seats, two sets of pedals, and two wheels; a bicycle-built-for-two.
  • noun An arrangement of two or more objects arranged one behind the other.
  • adverb One behind the other.
  • adjective Together; working as one.

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

  • noun an arrangement of two or more objects or persons one behind another
  • noun a bicycle with two sets of pedals and two seats
  • adverb one behind the other

Etymologies

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

[Latin, at last, at length; see to- in Indo-European roots.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Latin tandem ("at length, at last (of time)"), from tam ("so") + suffix -dem. Sense of bicycles with two seats from 1884.

Examples

Comments

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  • From Latin for “at last”; “finally”. No joke.

    February 29, 2008

  • It was a calm; so, forming a tandem of three boats, we commenced the slow business of towing the trophy...

    - Melville, Moby-Dick, ch. 64

    July 26, 2008

  • A two-seated, two-wheeled carriage with a high driver's seat, drawn by two or more horses harnessed one before the other (in tandem).

    October 22, 2008

  • In Europe this word is used in the sense of 'language exchange partner'. e.g.

    Gunther speaks German and wants to learn Italian.

    Francesca speaks Italian and wants to learn German.

    Gunther and Francesca then as tandem partners have meetings in which they converse alternately in their mother and target languages, thus tutoring each other.

    April 1, 2009