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tractor

Syllabification: trac·tor
Pronunciation: /ˈtraktər
 
/

Definition of tractor in English:

noun

1A powerful motor vehicle with large rear wheels, used chiefly on farms for hauling equipment and trailers.
Example sentences
  • Farther north, a farm wife drives a tractor pulling a flat rack.
  • One day he remembered starting the old diesel tractor on the farm inside a metal shed.
  • Farm tractors are used to move organic and phosphate wastes onto the dykes.
1.1A short truck consisting of the driver’s cab, designed to pull a large trailer.
Example sentences
  • Processors are using the same refrigeration technology whether they employ trailers pulled behind tractors or full-capacity trucks, he adds.
  • Two large tractor units pulling trailers are understood to have collided on flat, open sands, four miles off the coast with no other vehicles in the immediate area.
  • Trucks or tractors with trailers transporting fruit, vegetables or grain from the farm to the packhouse or silo do not need to individually register with the department.

Origin

late 18th century (in the general sense 'someone or something that pulls'): from Latin, from tract- 'pulled', from the verb trahere.

More
  • train from (Middle English):

    Before railways were invented in the early 19th century, train followed a different track. Early senses included ‘a trailing part of a robe’ and ‘a retinue’, which gave rise to ‘a line of travelling people or vehicles’, and later ‘a connected series of things’, as in train of thought. To train could mean ‘to cause a plant to grow in a desired shape’, which was the basis of the sense ‘to instruct’. The word is from Latin trahere ‘to pull, draw’, and so is related to word such as trace (Middle English) originally a path someone is drawn along, trail (Middle English) originally in the sense ‘to tow’, tractor (late 18th century) ‘something that pulls', contract (Middle English) ‘draw together’, and extract (Late Middle English) ‘draw out’. Boys in particular have practised the hobby of trainspotting under that name since the late 1950s. Others ridicule this hobby and in Britain in the 1980s trainspotter, like anorak, became a derogatory term for an obsessive follower of any minority interest. Irvine Welsh's 1993 novel Trainspotting gave a high profile to the term. The title refers to an episode in which two heroin addicts go to a disused railway station in Edinburgh and meet an old drunk in a disused railway station who asks them if they are trainspotting. There are also other overtones from the language of drugs—track is an addicts' term for a vein, mainlining [1930s] for injecting a drug intravenously, and train for a drug dealer. Trainers were originally training shoes, soft shoes without spikes or studs worn by athletes or sports players for training rather than the sport itself. The short form began to replace the longer one in the late 1970s.

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