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[moh-tel] /moʊˈtɛl/
a hotel providing travelers with lodging and free parking facilities, typically a roadside hotel having rooms adjacent to an outside parking area or an urban hotel offering parking within the building.
Origin of motel
1920-25; blend of motor and hotel
Can be confused
hostel, hotel, motel (see synonym study at hotel) Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for motel
  • The windows in the motel shook and the water in the pool rippled.
  • In the cinder-block motel room he set the alarm, but his own stertorous breathing woke him before it rang.
  • The rest of the time, he lies on his back in a squalid motel.
  • And when she opened her eyes again, there was the motel.
  • There is a large hotel-motel complex with restaurant, swimming pool and sauna.
  • Check into a motel in any major city and you'll have broadband access.
  • The motel features one- or two-bed rooms with microwaves, telephones and air conditioning.
  • Ask whether kitchenettes are available when making hotel or motel reservations.
  • Genevieve has a motel and variety of bed-and-breakfast inns, restaurants and wineries.
  • There's been reports all week of independent hotel and motel operators gouging customers.
British Dictionary definitions for motel


a roadside hotel for motorists, usually having direct access from each room or chalet to a parking space or garage
Word Origin
C20: from motor + hotel
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for motel

1925, coined from motor- + hotel. Originally a hotel for automobile travelers.

The Milestone Interstate Corporation ... proposes to build and operate a chain of motor hotels between San Diego and Seattle, the hotels to have the name 'Motel.' ["Hotel Monthly," March 1925]

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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