Definition of hansom in English:


(also hansom cab)


  • A two-wheeled horse-drawn cab accommodating two inside, with the driver seated behind.

    • ‘He goes to Bond Street and hails a hansom, tells the driver an address, and gives him some extra money when the driver tells him it is too far.’
    • ‘Unless you're playing racquetball at the New York Athletic Club or taking Aunt Doris for a sorry ride in a hansom cab, exactly what would you be doing on these three blocks?’
    • ‘It was the day of the horse-drawn waggonettes, cabs, hansoms etc, filled with race-goers and which passed in rapid succession.’
    • ‘Far into the distance curved the line of flickering gas-lamps, and outside a little walled-in house stood a solitary hansom, the driver asleep inside.’
    • ‘I spied a steam engine I could use to fashion a turret, and boiler plates could be secured inside the hansom to armor us from their fell weapons.’
    wagon, hackney, gig, landau, trap, caravan, car
    View synonyms


Mid 19th century: named after Joseph A. Hansom (1803–82), English architect, patentee of such a cab in 1834.