9 Grammatical Pitfalls


[moh-ter-sahy-kuh l] /ˈmoʊ tərˌsaɪ kəl/
a motor vehicle similar to a bicycle but usually larger and heavier, chiefly for one rider but sometimes having two saddles or an attached sidecar for passengers.
verb (used without object), motorcycled, motorcycling.
to ride on or operate a motorcycle.
Origin of motorcycle
1890-95, Americanism; motor + cycle
Related forms
[moh-ter-sahy-klist] /ˈmoʊ tərˌsaɪ klɪst/ (Show IPA),
noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for motorcycle
  • He taught me how to ride a motorcycle and demonstrated local fishing techniques.
  • Bus routes have been set up and kamikaze motorcycle-taxi riders forced to wear helmets.
  • When she goes out, two of them follow by motorcycle.
  • If you drive, be especially careful of the motorcycle drivers.
  • On a petrol-sipping motorcycle, you're always outside.
  • Few things are as thrilling as riding cross-country on a motorcycle with nothing between you and your surroundings.
  • The motorcycle taxi drivers are still delivering people to and fro.
  • Two came on foot, one by motorcycle, and seven by car.
  • It is even more so when it's done on an electric motorcycle.
  • It's about to get a lot easier to go electric motorcycle racing.
British Dictionary definitions for motorcycle


Also called motorbike. a two-wheeled vehicle, having a stronger frame than a bicycle, that is driven by a petrol engine, usually with a capacity of between 125 cc and 1000 cc
verb (intransitive)
to ride on a motorcycle
Derived Forms
motorcyclist, noun
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 motorcycle

1895, a hybrid from motor + -cycle, from bicycle. Motocycle also was used late 19c.

The horse follows the crooks of a country road, but then the training of the "motorcycle" (horrid name) will inevitably straighten out the crooks in the country road, and afford long ranges of straight tracks. [Payson Burleigh, "The Age of Steel," Oct. 12, 1895]
Related: Motorcyclist.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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