bow trolley

bow trolley

noun Railroads.
See under trolley ( def 4 ).

1900–05 Unabridged


noun, plural trolleys.
a trolley car.
a pulley or truck traveling on an overhead track and serving to support and move a suspended object.
a grooved metallic wheel or pulley carried on the end of a pole (trolley pole) by an electric car or locomotive, and held in contact with an overhead conductor, usually a suspended wire (trolley wire) from which it collects the current for the propulsion of the car or locomotive.
any of various devices for collecting current for such a purpose, as a pantograph, or a bowlike structure (bow trolley) sliding along an overhead wire, or a device (underground trolley) for taking current from the underground wire or conductor used by some electric railways.
a small truck or car operated on a track, as in a mine or factory.
a serving cart, as one used to serve desserts.
Chiefly British. any of various low carts or vehicles, as a railway handcar or costermonger's cart.
verb (used with object), verb (used without object), trolleyed, trolleying.
to convey or go by trolley.
off one's trolley, Slang.
in a confused mental state.
insane: He's been off his trolley for years, but his family refuses to have him committed.
Also, trolly.

1815–25; orig. dial.; apparently akin to troll1 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
trolley (ˈtrɒlɪ)
1.  (Brit) a small table on casters used for conveying food, drink, etc
2.  (Brit) a wheeled cart or stand pushed by hand and used for moving heavy items, such as shopping in a supermarket or luggage at a railway station
3.  (Brit) (in a hospital) a bed mounted on casters and used for moving patients who are unconscious, immobilized, etc
4.  (Brit) See trolleybus
5.  (US), (Canadian) See trolley car
6.  a device that collects the current from an overhead wire (trolley wire), third rail, etc, to drive the motor of an electric vehicle
7.  a pulley or truck that travels along an overhead wire in order to support a suspended load
8.  chiefly (Brit) a low truck running on rails, used in factories, mines, etc, and on railways
9.  a truck, cage, or basket suspended from an overhead track or cable for carrying loads in a mine, quarry, etc
10.  slang off one's trolley
 a.  mentally confused or disorganized
 b.  insane
11.  (tr) to transport (a person or object) on a trolley
[C19: probably from troll1]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Word Origin & History

1823, in Suffolk dialect, "a cart," especially one with wheels flanged for running on a track (1858), probably from troll (v.) in the sense of "to roll." Sense transferred to "pulley to convey current to a streetcar motor" (1890), then "streetcar drawing power by a trolley" (1891).
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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