Definition of tandem in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈtandəm/


1A bicycle with seats and pedals for two riders, one behind the other.
Example sentences
  • However, I did make a road bike, mountain bike and a tandem for this particular customer which did not shimmy.
  • A man and woman sped through the intersection on a tandem bicycle, singing a song I couldn't make out, in a strong waltzing beat.
  • Last year, she cycled over 1,300 miles from John O'Groats to Land's End on a tandem bicycle with her brother.
1.1A carriage driven by two animals harnessed one in front of the other.
Example sentences
  • Tandem horse teams were used for long journeys through heavy roads and sandhills.
  • Expand your horsemanship skills and the relationships with your horses with the challenge and fun of tandem riding.
  • She also competes with a pair and tandem both indoors and out.
1.2A group of two people or machines working together: the Giants had the greatest pitching tandem in baseball history
More example sentences
  • Six years later, the terrific tandem is together again, their significant signings evidence of how important one player can be to his team's fortunes.
  • He is the perfect compliment to him, and together they form one of the most prolific tandems in recent National Hockey League history.
  • They formed one of the best 1-2 tandems in history last season, and the rotation looks more solid behind them this season.


1With two or more horses harnessed one behind another: I rode tandem to Paris
More example sentences
  • I had an American Trotter part of the time, and also drove tandem, it was all great fun.
  • I drive tandem and unicorn too, which involves 4 reins in your left hand, whip in the right, plus right hand support, I only have two hands and nothing spare to grab on with.
1.1Alongside each other; together.
Example sentences
  • The mules are harnessed tandem to two long ropes or ‘lines’ attached to the bow of the boat.
  • The carriage had a team of 4 horses harnessed tandem.
  • He put on a wonderful demonstration with his four-horse hitch of Belgians and another competitor showed how it's done when he hitched his pair of gray Percherons tandem.


Having two things arranged one in front of the other: a tandem trailer
More example sentences
  • Very quickly I was being put into a jump suit and a harness by my tandem instructor.
  • And we prefer them to do a tandem skydive, where they are attached in a harness to an instructor who will bring them out of the aircraft and safely down to earth.
  • I looked into tandem prams, twin prams and even ride-on boards (a little skateboard thing that attaches to the back of the pram for the bigger kid to stand on - yeah right).


in tandem

Alongside each other: a tight fiscal policy working in tandem with a tight foreign exchange policy
More example sentences
  • For this, the fast bowlers in a side should work in tandem, complementing each other's skills.
  • Some currency pairs move in tandem with each other, while others may be polar opposites.
  • I'd like to see her put forward positive policy in tandem with her accountability crusade.
1.1One behind another: there were two seats in tandem
More example sentences
  • Today she and I cycled in to work together most of the way; not on a tandem but in tandem.
  • This is in tandem with my earlier post about the New York Times article.
  • Under the road map, both sides are supposed to act in tandem, but progress has bogged down over who should make the next move.


Late 18th century: humorously from Latin, literally 'at length'.

  • In Latin tandem means ‘after a long time’ or ‘at length’. It first came into English as a slang term for a carriage drawn by two horses harnessed one behind the other—a ‘long’ set-up which inspired a pun on ‘at length’. A tandem is now a bicycle for two riders, one behind the other. The expression in tandem is still used today to mean ‘one behind another’, but is more common in the sense ‘together as a team’.

Words that rhyme with tandem

avizandum, fandom, memorandum, nil desperandum, random

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: tan¦dem

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