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trolley

[trol-ee] /ˈtrɒl i/
noun, plural trolleys.
1.
a trolley car.
2.
a pulley or truck traveling on an overhead track and serving to support and move a suspended object.
3.
a grooved metallic wheel or pulley carried on the end of a pole (trolley pole) by an electric car or locomotive, and held in contact with an overhead conductor, usually a suspended wire (trolley wire) from which it collects the current for the propulsion of the car or locomotive.
4.
any of various devices for collecting current for such a purpose, as a pantograph, or a bowlike structure (bow trolley) sliding along an overhead wire, or a device (underground trolley) for taking current from the underground wire or conductor used by some electric railways.
5.
a small truck or car operated on a track, as in a mine or factory.
6.
a serving cart, as one used to serve desserts.
7.
Chiefly British. any of various low carts or vehicles, as a railway handcar or costermonger's cart.
verb (used with object), verb (used without object), trolleyed, trolleying.
8.
to convey or go by trolley.
Idioms
9.
off one's trolley, Slang.
  1. in a confused mental state.
  2. insane:
    He's been off his trolley for years, but his family refuses to have him committed.
Also, trolly.
Origin
1815-1825
1815-25; orig. dial.; apparently akin to troll1
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for trolley
  • We have plenty of experience in this in trolley and mining and both gave way a century ago to far more eff electric power.
  • Two servants carried in a tea trolley and placed it before the newcomer.
  • Suppose there is a runaway trolley car on a line that cannot be stopped, but it can be switched onto a branch line.
  • Jenny, a green trolley car with a human face, had a furrowed brow when her wheel buckled and she got stuck on a track.
  • Explore the second-oldest continuously-inhabited settlement in the country aboard a historic trolley.
  • Never mind the ballot box: vote with your supermarket trolley instead.
  • The subject of the study is challenged with thought experiments involving a runaway railway trolley or train carriage.
  • He had to be lifted onto the trolley on which he was to die, and then strapped down.
  • trolley tracks and electric lines running down the middle of the street, however, are a promise: a line runs here.
  • But once seated, the stylish drinks trolley reminded the fashion travellers that this was no ordinary airplane ride.
British Dictionary definitions for trolley

trolley

/ˈtrɒlɪ/
noun
1.
(Brit) a small table on casters used for conveying food, drink, etc
2.
(Brit) a wheeled cart or stand pushed by hand and used for moving heavy items, such as shopping in a supermarket or luggage at a railway station
3.
(Brit) (in a hospital) a bed mounted on casters and used for moving patients who are unconscious, immobilized, etc
4.
(Brit) See trolleybus
5.
(US & Canadian) See trolley car
6.
a device that collects the current from an overhead wire (trolley wire), third rail, etc, to drive the motor of an electric vehicle
7.
a pulley or truck that travels along an overhead wire in order to support a suspended load
8.
(mainly Brit) a low truck running on rails, used in factories, mines, etc, and on railways
9.
a truck, cage, or basket suspended from an overhead track or cable for carrying loads in a mine, quarry, etc
10.
(slang) off one's trolley
  1. mentally confused or disorganized
  2. insane
verb
11.
(transitive) to transport (a person or object) on a trolley
See also trolleys
Word Origin
C19: probably from troll1
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 trolley
n.

1823, in Suffolk dialect, "a cart," especially one with wheels flanged for running on a track (1858), probably from troll (v.) in the sense of "to roll." Sense transferred to "pulley to convey current to a streetcar motor" (1890), then "streetcar drawing power by a trolley" (1891).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for trolley

trolley

Related Terms

off one's trolley, slip one's trolley


The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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Idioms and Phrases with trolley
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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