Definition of tandem in English:



  • 1A bicycle with seats and pedals for two riders, one behind the other.

    • ‘However, I did make a road bike, mountain bike and a tandem for this particular customer which did not shimmy.’
    • ‘She took part despite training for only two weeks due to a severe illness following her last challenge, a tandem cycle ride from Rome to her home in Leeds.’
    • ‘Trek, the US bicycle manufacturer, with a factory in Carlow, has presented six tandems to Tandem Cycling Ireland for use as leisure and competition machines by the 80 impaired members of the organisation.’
    • ‘There are also prizes for cyclists in numerous age group categories and also for tandems, which are becoming more and more popular.’
    • ‘Cyclists are ranked according to their disability and face fierce competition on traditional bikes, three wheeled bikes or tandems.’
    • ‘One man died and three people were injured after a freak accident involving a tandem bicycle and two horses.’
    • ‘A baby buggy costs a further £5 and trailers and a tandem are available for £10.’
    • ‘Mum and dad would ride at the front of two tandems, with the children at the rear.’
    • ‘On May 3 this year, she set out on what she thinks will be her last big sponsored effort - to cycle from Rome to Leeds, on a tandem, with her brother.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘It means visually impaired people in Grimsby will have the chance to go out on a tandem bike with a sighted cyclist.’
    • ‘About five hours into the ride, he mentioned casually that he preferred doing the race on a tandem, because the heavier bike made it so much more difficult.’
    • ‘Big cash prizes are up for grabs for first female, male, mountain biker and tandem bikers in, and many, many lucky draw prizes are also to be won - irrespective of what category you enter.’
    • ‘Bikes on display included a tandem for an adult and child, an electric bike, a recumbent touring bike and a back-to-back recumbent bike for adventurous cyclists.’
    • ‘This will make it impossible for trailerbikes and tandems carrying children and difficult for other types of bikes, especially those carrying loaded bags or childseats.’
    • ‘Last year, she cycled over 1,300 miles from John O'Groats to Land's End on a tandem bicycle with her brother.’
    • ‘Should ladies ride in front, and thus steer, on a tandem?’
    • ‘If your not sure your child has the coordination to share in the operation of a tandem bike, there's a fun variation referred to as a bike trailer.’
    • ‘The beneficiary of this amazing journey would be the National Council for the Blind of Ireland and also taking part were two visually impaired cyclists on tandems.’
    • ‘Among the contingent were two tandems with a blind cyclist and a pilot on each one…’
    1. 1.1 A carriage driven by two animals harnessed one in front of the other.
      • ‘She also competes with a pair and tandem both indoors and out.’
      • ‘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.’
    2. 1.2 A group of two people or machines working together.
      ‘the Giants had the greatest pitching tandem in baseball history’
      • ‘They make up one of the most dangerous tandems in recent National Football League history.’
      • ‘Few teams offer the promise of a better turnover rate, which should help re-establish the combo at the combo they deserve: one of the best GM/manager tandems available.’
      • ‘He is the perfect compliment to him, and together they form one of the most prolific tandems in recent National Hockey League history.’
      • ‘So the team believe they have one of the better guard tandems in the league.’
      • ‘"They have the best safety tandem in football, and the whole defense can really run.’
      • ‘He and his father became the first father-son tandem to race in the Indianapolis 500 in the same year.’
      • ‘Despite the problems, they have one of the best tandems in football.’
      • ‘So even as the brothers continue to rise in the World Wrestling Entertainment tag ranks, they still have a long way to go before they can be mentioned among the best brother tandems in wrestling history.’
      • ‘Now, after rounding out their second full season together, they have been classified by some observers as one of the best middle infield tandems in the recent history of the game.’
      • ‘His arrival means the team likely will open the season with a new double-play tandem.’
      • ‘He is one half of the team's imposing defensive tackle tandem.’
      • ‘Well, let's say that I believe these two players will be, in one year's time, one of the 3 best 1-2 pitching prospect tandems in the minor leagues.’
      • ‘The club could have a promising left-right catching tandem next season.’
      • ‘As such, the movie has historical significance because these three went on to become one of the most successful tandems in movie history.’
      • ‘They didn't do much last year, when he missed the final nine games because of a broken thumb, but they are regaining the form of 1999, when they were one of the best rookie passing tandems in recent memory.’
      • ‘"I think they are the best goaltending tandem in the league, " said the coach.’
      • ‘They formed one of the best 1-2 tandems in history last season, and the rotation looks more solid behind them this season.’
      • ‘They have emerged as one of the game's premier safety tandems.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘The team expects them to form a spectacular double-play tandem in the field.’


  • 1With two or more horses harnessed one behind another.

    ‘I rode tandem to Paris’
    • ‘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. 1.1 Alongside each other; together.
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘The mules are harnessed tandem to two long ropes or ‘lines’ attached to the bow of the boat.’


  • Having two things arranged one in front of the other.

    ‘a tandem trailer’
    • ‘There are a number of jumps available including a tandem free fall skydive from 10,000 foot alongside an instructor and a £3,000 foot solo jump.’
    • ‘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).’
    • ‘Make a thrilling 10,000 ft tandem skydive attached to a professional instructor, or take a ‘Static Line’ jump performed solo from up to 3,000 ft.’
    • ‘The tandem pilot and the tandem participant must both have their rating cards on their person for the flight.’
    • ‘Commercial tandem rides are presently forbidden because of liability concerns.’
    • ‘Park staff took away four tandem trailerloads of rubbish, he said.’
    • ‘The researchers show that the lead ant in the tandem pair could reach the food stash four times faster when not slowed by a follower.’
    • ‘To avoid registration problems with the wacky van Frank says he bought a tandem trailer already registered and then built on top of it and hoped for the best.’
    • ‘For that reason, the airplane wound up with side-by-side seating instead of the Air Force's preferred tandem seating.’
    • ‘The airplane had a fold-open hatch, tandem seating, and sticks for pitch and roll, but wasn't rated for aerobatics.’
    • ‘The tandem paraglider duo went down after a few miles.’
    • ‘We did cliff top walks in horizontal sleet and a tandem ride down to the sea.’
    • ‘Race cars do this all the time on a track, forming a tandem bumper-to-bumper team to blow by the field.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘She said: ‘I've done tandem jumps from 10,000 and 12,000 feet and never even had a scratch.’’
    • ‘Although it opened in 1999, the fund-raising still goes on the appeal recently paid for a tandem mass spectrometer which can diagnose 32 genetic disorders in newborn babies.’
    • ‘I do maybe 600 tandem flights a year, and I must have flown three and a half thousand flights altogether.’
    • ‘The tandem military operations came as Mahmoud Abbas, the recently named Palestinian prime minister, met political leaders in the Gaza Strip to discuss the formation of his new Cabinet, expected later this month.’
    • ‘The frame, in turn, features an oscillating front axle and pivoting rear tandem axles.’


  • in tandem

    • 1Alongside each other.

      ‘a tight fiscal policy working in tandem with a tight foreign exchange policy’
      • ‘‘In tandem with the tougher gun controls announced by the government this week, the amnesty will help get many guns off our streets which may otherwise be used in crime,’ said the man.’
      • ‘In tandem with its drive to strengthen the family and promote motherhood, the government sought to enforce paternal obligations.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘In tandem with this we carried out a management review which had saved a substantial amount of money resulting in a net saving of £300,000.’
      • ‘The regulatory authority and the law enforcement agencies should work in tandem to counter this problem.’
      • ‘They also ensured that the shows were full during the first week, often working in tandem with the promoters of the film for its success.’
      • ‘The move was to come into effect in tandem with a policy to persuade car owners to shift from low-cost fuel to Pertamax.’
      • ‘However, they never were far from each other and worked better in tandem than alone.’
      • ‘I'd like to see her put forward positive policy in tandem with her accountability crusade.’
      1. 1.1One behind another.
        ‘there were two seats in tandem’
        • ‘I'd met Andrew at the cinema, both of us driving there from our separate top secret locations (he'd been working, surprise, surprise), so we had two cars and drove in tandem to Olive for dinner.’
        • ‘Today she and I cycled in to work together most of the way; not on a tandem but in tandem.’
        • ‘Take three objects of identical mass and have them follow each other in tandem, tracing a figure eight in space.’
        • ‘The first aeroplane of original design was a very powerful low wing monoplane with two seats in tandem.’
        • ‘This is in tandem with my earlier post about the New York Times article.’
        • ‘The instructor and student sit in tandem on rocket-powered ejection seats in a pressurized, air-conditioned cockpit.’
        • ‘Under the road map, both sides are supposed to act in tandem, but progress has bogged down over who should make the next move.’
        • ‘Shares in the luxury goods market have been on the slide in recent weeks, in tandem with the dollar's depression.’


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