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[truh-voi] /trəˈvɔɪ/
noun, plural travois
[truh-voiz] /trəˈvɔɪz/ (Show IPA)
a transport device, formerly used by the Plains Indians, consisting of two poles joined by a frame and drawn by an animal.
Origin of travois
1840-50; Americanism; pseudo-French spelling of earlier travoy < North American French; compare Canadian French travail shaft of a cart to which the horse is hitched, French: frame in which unruly horses are held while they are shod (probably < Late Latin trepālium; see travail) Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for travois
  • Sometimes they would make a small travois by lashing lightweight poles or branches together and strapping them to a dog.
  • They were trained to carry a heavy back-pack or drag a travois of wooden poles.
  • The dog travois was introduced during this period as well as the bow and arrow.
  • They used dogs to transport gear with a travois, two poles lashed together for carrying household goods.
  • Tipi hides, poles, and household articles were placed on a device known as a travois and dragged behind a horse.
British Dictionary definitions for travois


noun (pl) -vois (-ˈvɔɪz)
a sled formerly used by the Plains Indians of North America, consisting of two poles joined by a frame and dragged by an animal
(Canadian) a similar sled used for dragging logs
Word Origin
from Canadian French, from French travailtrave
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 travois

1847, said to be ultimately from a Canadian Indian pronunciation of travail.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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