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[trahy-si-kuh l, -sik-uh l] /ˈtraɪ sɪ kəl, -ˌsɪk əl/
a vehicle, especially one for children, having one large front wheel and two small rear wheels, propelled by foot pedals.
a velocipede with three wheels propelled by pedals or hand levers.
a three-wheeled motorcycle.
Origin of tricycle
1820-30; < French; see tri-, cycle Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for tricycle
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • The velociman was an early and somewhat cumbrous form of tricycle; Mr. Dodgson made many suggestions for its improvement.

    The Life and Letters of Lewis Carroll Stuart Dodgson Collingwood
  • There is a fashion just now to call it dangerous and the tricycle safe.

  • And we started off, walking down the hill, Jone holding on to my tricycle.

    Pomona's Travels Frank R. Stockton
  • He styled this tricycle his "engine," and it was by no means the whole of his equipage.

    Fantmas Pierre Souvestre
  • With a curious jerking motion, the tricycle he rode twisted round upon itself, and he partly dismounted and partly fell off.

    The Wheels of Chance H. G. Wells
  • Their vehicle was a tricycle of the form which has obtained the name of “Sociable.”

    The Eagle Cliff R.M. Ballantyne
  • I'll tell you one thing that makes me so glad about my tricycle.

    Golden Moments Anonymous
  • The reverend gentleman has, we are glad to say, taken his tricycle with him.

    Boycotted Talbot Baines Reed
  • The maid who waited on us was friendly too, and while J. was busy putting away the tricycle she was even moved to confide in me.

    A Canterbury Pilgrimage Joseph Pennell and Elizabeth Robins Pennell
British Dictionary definitions for tricycle


a three-wheeled cycle, esp one driven by pedals
a three-wheeler for invalids
(intransitive) to ride a tricycle
Derived Forms
tricyclist, 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 tricycle

1828, "three-wheeled horse-drawn carriage," from French tricycle (1827); see tri- + cycle (n.). The pedal-powered version is first attested 1868.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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