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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.

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


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

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.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

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.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Anglo-Norman trayne, Middle French traïne, from traïr ("to betray").



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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