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[lim-uh-zeen, lim-uh-zeen] /ˈlɪm əˌzin, ˌlɪm əˈzin/
any large, luxurious automobile, especially one driven by a chauffeur.
a large sedan or small bus, especially one for transporting passengers to and from an airport, between train stations, etc.
a former type of automobile having a permanently enclosed compartment for from three to five persons, with a roof projecting forward over the driver's seat in front.
Origin of limousine
1900-05; < French: kind of motorcar, special use of limousine long cloak, so called because worn by the shepherds of Limousin Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for limousine
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Only the snap of the limousine door prevented her shaking hands.

    The Fifth Ace Douglas Grant
  • Madeline climbed in beside her parent and the limousine rolled away.

    The Portygee Joseph Crosby Lincoln
  • She obeyed readily the man who asked her to be seated in the limousine.

  • As John started to close the door of the limousine, Frances glanced at her watch.

    The Wall Street Girl Frederick Orin Bartlett
  • Just outside the Cavalry Club a limousine was waiting, driven by a chauffeur who looked like some kind of Oriental.

    Fire-Tongue Sax Rohmer
British Dictionary definitions for limousine


/ˈlɪməˌziːn; ˌlɪməˈziːn/
any large and luxurious car, esp one that has a glass division between the driver and passengers
a former type of car in which the roof covering the rear seats projected over the driver's compartment
Word Origin
C20: from French, literally: cloak (originally one worn by shepherds in Limousin), hence later applied to the car
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 limousine

1902, "enclosed automobile with open driver's seat," from French limousine, from Limousin, region in central France, originally an adjective referring to its chief city, Limoges, from Latin Lemovices, name of a people who lived near there, perhaps named in reference to their elm spears or bows. The Latin adjective form of the name, Lemovicinus, is the source of French Limousin.

Modern automobile meaning evolved from perceived similarity of the car's profile to a type of hood worn by the inhabitants of that province. Since 1930s, synonymous in American English with "luxury car;" applied from 1959 to vehicles that take people to and from large airports. Limousine liberal first attested 1969.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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