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tumbrel

[tuhm-bruh l] /ˈtʌm brəl/
noun
1.
one of the carts used during the French Revolution to convey victims to the guillotine.
2.
a farmer's cart, especially one for hauling manure, that can be tilted to discharge its load.
3.
Obsolete. a two-wheeled covered cart accompanying artillery for carrying tools, ammunition, etc.
Also, tumbril.
Origin
1275-1325
1275-1325; Middle English tumberell ducking stool < Medieval Latin tumberellus < Old French tumberel dump-cart, equivalent to tombe(r) to fall (see tumble) + -rel -rel
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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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British Dictionary definitions for tumbrel

tumbrel

/ˈtʌmbrəl/
noun
1.
a farm cart for carrying dung, esp one that tilts backwards to deposit its load. A cart of this type was used to take condemned prisoners to the guillotine during the French Revolution
2.
(formerly) a covered cart that accompanied artillery in order to carry ammunition, tools, etc
3.
an obsolete word for a ducking stool
Word Origin
C14 tumberell ducking stool, from Medieval Latin tumbrellum from Old French tumberel dump cart, from tomber to tumble, of Germanic origin
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin and History for tumbrel
n.

mid-15c., "two-wheeled cart," earlier an instrument of punishment of uncertain type (early 13c.), from Old French tumberel "dump cart," from tomber "(let) fall or tumble," possibly from a Germanic source (cf. Old Norse tumba "to tumble," Old High German tumon "to turn, reel;" see tumble). Notoriously used to take victims to the guillotine during the Reign of Terror.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Encyclopedia Article for tumbrel

French two-wheeled dumpcart or wagon designed to be drawn by a single draft animal. Originally used to carry agricultural supplies, it was most often associated with the cartage of animal manure. It was also used, however, by artillery units to carry tools and ammunition, and during the French Revolution it gained wide celebrity as the vehicle used to bear prisoners to the guillotine.

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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