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tractor

[trak-ter] /ˈtræk tər/
noun
1.
a powerful motor-driven vehicle with large, heavy treads, used for pulling farm machinery, other vehicles, etc.
2.
Also called truck tractor. a short truck with a driver's cab but no body, designed for hauling a trailer or semitrailer.
3.
something used for drawing or pulling.
4.
Aeronautics.
  1. a propeller mounted at the front of an airplane, thus exerting a pull.
  2. Also called tractor airplane. an airplane with a propeller so mounted.
Origin of tractor
1855-1860
1855-60; < Latin trac-, variant stem of trahere to draw, pull + -tor -tor
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for tractor
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • On the land he was having broken (for he had teams breaking prairie in addition to the tractor) he had arranged to sow flaxseed.

    The Homesteader Oscar Micheaux
  • The tractor beam that would take hold of them had never been designed.

    The Vortex Blaster Edward Elmer Smith
  • While the automobile and the tractor are now doing much of the work formerly done by horses, the "horseless era" is still far off.

  • He turned back to his tractor, moving as slowly as he felt safe in doing.

    All Day September Roger Kuykendall
  • This tractor wheel may be turned by its vertical steering post so as to propel the vessel in any desired direction.

British Dictionary definitions for tractor

tractor

/ˈtræktə/
noun
1.
a motor vehicle used to pull heavy loads, esp farm machinery such as a plough or harvester. It usually has two large rear wheels with deeply treaded tyres
2.
a short motor vehicle with a powerful engine and a driver's cab, used to pull a trailer, as in an articulated lorry
3.
an aircraft with its propeller or propellers mounted in front of the engine
Word Origin
C18: from Late Latin: one who pulls, from trahere to drag
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 tractor
n.

1856, "something that pulls," earlier used of a quack device consisting of two metal rods which were supposed to relieve rheumatism (1798, in full Perkins's metallic tractor), from Medieval Latin tractor, from stem of Latin trahere "to pull, draw" (see tract (n.1)).

Sense of "an engine or vehicle for pulling wagons or plows" is recorded by 1896, from earlier traction engine (1859). The meaning "powerful truck for pulling a freight trailer" is first found 1926; tractor-trailer is attested from 1949.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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9
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