Definition of funicular in English:


Syllabification: fu·nic·u·lar
Pronunciation: /fyo͝oˈnikyələr


  • 1(Of a railroad, especially one on a mountainside) operating by cable with ascending and descending cars counterbalanced.
    More example sentences
    • The enormous growth of tourism in the Alps means funicular railway and cable car operators seek to transport far more visitors than their operations were originally intended for.
    • I could have descended the hill by funicular railway, only there seemed little point queueing to squeeze myself into an overcrowded carriage for the one minute journey.
    • A funicular railway scales the mountain to the jumping-off point for the sledge run, which winds five kilometres downhill back to the railway terminus.
  • 2Of or relating to a rope or its tension.


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  • A cable railroad, especially one on a mountainside, in which ascending and descending cars are counterbalanced.
    More example sentences
    • Just one day earlier things were very different, with hordes of skiers and snowboarders snaking back into the car park, queuing for a trip on the brand new funicular that opened on Christmas Eve after years of planning and controversy.
    • Monday The Mountaineering Council of Scotland adds to the furore over the controversial Cairngorm funicular which already has many skiers and conservationists up in arms.
    • The £15 million funicular has also soaked up a large proportion of the taxpayers' money available for supporting Highland developments.


mid 17th century (in the sense 'of or like a cord or thread'): from Latin funiculus (diminutive of funis 'rope') + -ar1.

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