Definition of trolley in English:


Syllabification: trol·ley
Pronunciation: /ˈträlē

noun (plural trolleys)

1 short for trolley car or trolley bus.
More example sentences
  • You can easily stroll Galveston's gas-lamp - studded streets or get around by trolley.
  • We went by trolley to a Chinese restaurant, Sam Wah's, which I believe was the only one in Austin.
  • The Route 15 trolley last ran on Girard Avenue in September 1992.
2 (also trolley wheel) A wheel attached to a pole, used for collecting current from an overhead electric wire to drive a streetcar or trolley bus.
More example sentences
  • In later years, the tarries were electrified, and poles held the trolley wire.
  • They also had to replace the trolley pole when it escaped from the overhead wire.
3chiefly British A large metal basket or frame on wheels, used for transporting heavy or large items, such as supermarket purchases or luggage at an airport or railroad station.
More example sentences
  • The group's services range from treatments to harden metals for aero-engines to providing the shine on metals used in supermarket trolleys.
  • We pay for trolleys in airports and supermarkets, and for parking we either scratch a permit, ‘pay and display’ or ‘park and ride’.
  • Supermarket trolleys and burned-out cars replaced the brightly coloured barges that once proudly carried grain, coal, wool, salt and timber.
3.1British A small table on wheels or casters, typically used to convey food and drink.
More example sentences
  • Without missing a beat, another aide approached the table, wheeling a trolley heaped with food.
  • One businessman was told there were too many people on board and they could not wheel trolleys with hot drinks as it was a safety hazard.
  • Satine turns to a trolley with food and drink on it, and picks up a bottle of Champagne from the ice bucket.


early 19th century: of dialect origin, perhaps from troll2.


off one's trolley

informal Mad; insane.
More example sentences
  • ‘I reckon you're off your trolley,’ she says with surprising insight.
  • If, ten years ago, anyone had proposed that children in British schools should be taught in any other language than English they too would have been vilified and accused of being ‘off their trolley.’
  • Then of course there are those who are quite literally off their trolley.

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