Share this entry

Share this page


Line breaks: pil|lion
Pronunciation: /ˈpɪljən

Definition of pillion in English:


1A seat for a passenger behind a motorcyclist.
Example sentences
  • The accident last night was one of four serious collisions in North Yorkshire over the Bank Holiday weekend, which left three motorcyclists dead and a pillion passenger seriously injured.
  • Motorcyclists and pillion passengers must wear helmets at all times and motorists must wear safety belts.
  • A motorcycle pillion passenger was killed and its rider seriously injured when their machine was involved in an accident on the A64.
1.1 historical A woman’s light saddle.
1.2 historical A cushion attached to the back of a saddle, on which a second person may ride.


late 15th century (denoting a light saddle): from Scottish Gaelic pillean, Irish pillín 'small cushion', diminutive of pell, from Latin pellis 'skin'.


ride pillion

Travel seated behind a motorcyclist.
Example sentences
  • They had returned home with A-Nong riding pillion on Monchai's motorcycle with Mukda following behind on her own motorbike.
  • The inquiry at Westminster Coroner's Court heard how Clayton Skipworth, 22, was riding pillion on a motorcycle on Clapham Common Northside late in the evening of Friday, September 13.
  • The rules to be followed while travelling in buses, autorickshaws, cars and riding pillion on two-wheelers have been listed.

Definition of pillion in:

Share this entry

Share this page


What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove adverts and access premium resources

Word of the day boscage
Pronunciation: ˈbɒskɪdʒ
a mass of trees or shrubs