Definition of train in English:


Video: a look at train


[with object]
  • 1Teach (a person or animal) a particular skill or type of behaviour through sustained practice and instruction.

    ‘the scheme trains people for promotion’
    with object and infinitive ‘the dogs are trained to sniff out illegal stowaways’
    • ‘Officers have been specially trained to detect signs such as pupils and drowsiness.’
    • ‘The methods are still used by classically trained Ayurvedic doctors today.’
    • ‘Allard said ‘bomb dogs’ were sniffer dogs which were specially trained to detect any type of explosive device.’
    • ‘Jails should have training centres where every prisoner can be trained in skills he is good at.’
    • ‘However, the current generation of doctors is not well trained to deal with clinical uncertainty.’
    • ‘But nurses and doctors are well trained to deal with those who are suffering.’
    • ‘All students are trained in Study Skills, and Examination Technique.’
    • ‘The service is staffed by volunteers, who are specially trained in the area of domestic violence.’
    • ‘Protocols need to be available and staff properly trained to perform such alternative methods in a clinically relevant time frame.’
    • ‘Under the project, women are trained in business skills, accounting, marketing and forging links with commercial banks.’
    • ‘In Florida, he's being trained in popular education practices and conflict resolution skills as part of the Mass Action track.’
    • ‘Security staff were trained in effective communication skills.’
    • ‘You wouldn't have the shootings if the Infantry were better trained in basic skills like handling their weapons and fighting in urban areas.’
    • ‘Each of the instructors and the observers are trained in self-aid and buddy care, as well as cardiopulmonary resuscitation techniques.’
    • ‘Every woman was trained in using them with deadly skill.’
    • ‘Traditionally, in this industry, the boys are trained in the skill which is then passed down generations.’
    • ‘It kills me when a swimmer who I train gets run down at the end of a race.’
    • ‘My mother was well trained in housekeeping skills.’
    • ‘With donations of cash and broken and used tools, men are trained in welding, woodwork, carpentry and other skills, and are then placed in jobs.’
    instruct, teach, coach, tutor, give lessons to, school, educate, upskill, edify, prime, drill, demonstrate something to, make something clear to
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    1. 1.1no object Be taught through sustained practice and instruction.
      ‘he trained as a plumber’
      • ‘Everybody who trains takes lay-offs at one time or another.’
      • ‘Canada, his native land, the UK where he trained and taught, and the United States all owe much to this sophisticated thinker.’
      study, learn, prepare, be taught, take instruction, qualify
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    2. 1.2usually as adjective trained Develop and improve (a mental or physical faculty) through instruction or practice.
      ‘an alert mind and trained eye give astute evaluations’
      • ‘The three people gathered around the monolith had come to this conclusion, not only by use of their highly trained intellects, but also by dint of reading the small label on the back.’
      • ‘Hilary's singing voice is classically trained to perfection, her tones both rich and clear.’
      • ‘Simply stated, it is through a highly trained and discerning eye that a curator develops this skill.’
      • ‘He's highly trained in the martial arts, not to mention in the use of weaponry.’
      • ‘For this the mind has to be trained and not let loose.’
      • ‘Cartier-Bresson gave it his eye and mind trained by the cubist painter Andre Lhote, and his experience as a hunter in Africa.’
      • ‘Thus it is in daily life, one's mind and body be trained and developed in a spirit of humility; and that in critical times, one be devoted utterly to the cause of justice.’
    3. 1.3 Cause (a plant) to grow in a particular direction or into a required shape.
      ‘they trained crimson ramblers over their houses’
      • ‘Pear trees are trained using a modified central leader system, which begins when the tree is planted.’
      • ‘These kid-size trees are trained to be fruiting sticks.’
      • ‘She trains this fast-growing shrub as a standard, sending the blooms up rather than out.’
      • ‘Young trees are generally trained to an open centre or vase shape as this allows even ripening of fruit and good air circulation, which helps prevent disease.’
      • ‘Vines grow to thirty feet and can be trained on a trellis or used as a groundcover.’
      • ‘Standards are plants that have been trained to grow in a tree-like form.’
      • ‘The fleshy vanilla vines are trained to grow up wooden posts or trees.’
      • ‘I want to train a pear tree as an espalier against a wall.’
      • ‘The vines were trained up trees and also on trellises on poles of willow.’
      • ‘As they grew, the plants were trained by weaving new canes through the wrought-iron arch and tying them in place.’
      • ‘Instead of a privet hedge, why not train apple trees to clothe a lattice?’
      • ‘For example, climbing roses can be trained to grow up and over a trellis or to highlight and enhance a bare wall or garden shed.’
      • ‘The concept was designed for areas where wind was a problem, as fruit trees could be trained to grow against the wall in the shelter of the curves.’
      • ‘The base is 3 to 4 feet, and the vines are trained, one every 18 to 24 inches, up both sides.’
      • ‘White flowering Clematis armandii, red tropaeolum, wisteria and roses are being trained to grow over the pergola.’
      • ‘Although climbing roses look very similar to landscape roses, climbing roses have been trained to grow upward like vines.’
      • ‘Plus, as your plants are trained to grow upwards, they will get more light and air.’
      • ‘It can even be trained to grow as a small tree on its own.’
      • ‘First, she plans a pattern for training her vines and traces it onto the wall with a pencil.’
      • ‘Not only that, when you train the shrub to grow into a single stem tree, you can end up with some very interesting plants.’
    4. 1.4no object Undertake a course of exercise and diet in order to reach or maintain peak physical fitness in preparation for a specific sport or event.
      ‘she trains three times a week’
      • ‘When professional rugby union began, there were still many genuine amateurs, most notably in the heartland Olympic sports, who trained harder.’
      • ‘He sat out floor exercise in Sydney, but a few months later is now able to train on the event.’
      • ‘Beginning in September 1996, I trained in sport aerobics, also in Constanta.’
      • ‘None of the women is a fitness freak and in preparation they trained at the Irene and Monument koppies on the outskirts of Pretoria.’
      • ‘Each team in the tournament will train at hotels, resorts, or sports complexes that will resemble armed camps.’
      • ‘She did suffer, however, from the shock of not being entered into the event she had trained for, the 400 m.’
      • ‘Has he trained for the event, or is he just winging it?’
      • ‘You know about cardio exercise for heart health and strength training for keeping firm, but when was the last time you trained to improve your sense of balance?’
      • ‘I later heard that this time trial was a goal she targeted last winter, and that she had trained specifically for this event.’
      • ‘They train, reach a peak of physical fitness and then, one day, for no obvious reason, they're unable to perform properly.’
      • ‘The coaches who have trained under these men have quite a bit in common.’
      • ‘Other coaches have taught me more about sailing, but Coach Beaver taught me how to train to be the best at whatever I do.’
      • ‘He has trained in the sport since 1983 and won a gold medal at the last world championships.’
      • ‘Never before in the history of Australian sport have our athletes trained so hard in the quest for the ultimate athletic performance.’
      • ‘The swimmers who trained twice per day showed no additional improvements over those who trained only once per day.’
      • ‘And we saw him this week of course, out there training, ready to get fit to be selected in the middle of February.’
      • ‘An exception might be the cyclist who has not trained for an event and can lose excessive amounts of salt in his/her perspiration.’
      • ‘To prepare, the group trained for the event for 10 weeks.’
      • ‘To prepare for the gruelling event, she trained at the gym, using cross trainer machines, which simulate the action of skiing.’
      • ‘Sport is about competing to see who is the best and athletes have to train hard to reach the top.’
      exercise, do exercises, work out, get into shape, practise, prepare
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    5. 1.5with object Prepare (a person or animal) for a particular sport or event with a course of exercise and diet.
      ‘the horse was trained in Paris’
      • ‘The philosophy is it's easier to train an athlete to perform pit stops than it is to turn a mechanic into a top-tier athlete.’
      • ‘One way I train my male players is to have them touch the backboard as many times as they can in 15 seconds.’
      • ‘I got a letter from somebody who said he could train the team better than me.’
      • ‘Commitment members are trained and informed about health and handicap problems.’
      • ‘Russel had then decided to impart his knowledge and train young cricketers.’
      • ‘Players are trained to dive and manipulate refs to get decisions there way.’
      • ‘I would be afraid if I wasn't trained the way I have been.’
      • ‘That proposal ignores the perils of using minor league basketball to train players.’
      • ‘In those days, he sometimes trained his athletes too much, too hard.’
      • ‘Rachid, who trains the boxers, makes a great play of picking up the youngest lads, weighing them and poking them about before a bout begins.’
      • ‘Was there a sense that someone might have a stable of gladiators that he's trained up in order to go into contest?’
      • ‘They also received warm greetings from the Hong Kong Table Tennis Association which trained their sons and will arrange their trip.’
      • ‘‘We have trained our student athletes seriously as we wanted to be in peak form ahead of the World University Games,’ he said.’
      • ‘Still, as excuses for failure go, it's a lot better than, ‘I wasn't trained hard enough.’’
      • ‘We train elite athletes in hopes that they will make it to the Olympics.’
      • ‘The next phase of his life is being sold to a man who trains him as a gladiatorial pit fighter, where he learns the ways and glory of combat and gains his sense of self.’
      • ‘But at a certain point he had begun to train his own players, and at that point he opted for women.’
      • ‘The recruitment of a top Indian Coach to train our boys for the next two years will strengthen and also improve our coaching programme, he said.’
      • ‘Tim has also trained horses which were bought by the Portuguese Olympic three-day event team.’
      • ‘However, once you select your event, you must train your athlete first before competing.’
      coach, drill, exercise, prepare, practise, ground, rehearse, make ready, make fit
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    6. 1.6train down Reduce one's weight through diet and exercise in order to be fit for a particular event.
      ‘he trained down to heavyweight’
      • ‘He trains down to make the 175 limit for his ‘defenses‘but comes into the ring in the 180s.’
      • ‘I was a Big Ten wrestling champion at the University of Chicago and I had to train down, so I know it pretty well.’
      • ‘If he is smart and can't motivate himself to train down then he should try hard to get a fight with an older, slower heavyweight that won't test his stamina.’
      • ‘Anyway, they inspire indolent ladies to train down and to diet and do sundry other things in the pursuit of slenderness.’
  • 2train something on/atPoint or aim something, typically a gun or camera, at.

    ‘the detective trained his gun on the side door’
    • ‘For instance, when an area is hit by natural disaster, the cameramen will quickly train their cameras on local leaders who give directions regarding the rescue and relief efforts.’
    • ‘Orwell feared that one day a ruthless, omnipotent state would train cameras on its citizens, surveilling them into obedience.’
    • ‘Here the director is content too often to train his camera on her in close-up, in the hope apparently that this will provide the film with the expressiveness it otherwise generally lacks.’
    • ‘It is legal to train a camera on your front door and display your comings and goings on the internet.’
    • ‘For more than seven months now, Germany's intellectual elite has trained its guns on the United States.’
    • ‘In an excellent piece of journalism, the camera crew just trained their camera on the serviceman, as he stood on the beach, tears running down his cheeks.’
    • ‘Meanwhile, the defending champion trained her focus on the grass court season after bowing out of the French Open at the quarter-final stage.’
    • ‘Newton mounted guns on deck and trained muskets on the captives' quarters to intimidate them.’
    • ‘It is all set to train the cameras on nine other schools in the district.’
    • ‘As a journalist, Khan was used to training the camera on others.’
    aim, point, direct, level, line something up, turn something on, fix something on, sight, position, focus
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  • 3dated no object, with adverbial of direction Go by train.

    ‘Charles trained to London with Emma’
  • 4archaic Entice (someone).


  • 1A series of connected railway carriages or wagons moved by a locomotive or by integral motors.

    ‘a freight train’
    ‘the journey took two hours by train’
    • ‘I wanted a story that moved like a freight train dropped off the edge of a cliff.’
    • ‘Hardly had these words been uttered when a train of wagons arrived from the village and drew up outside the mess hall.’
    • ‘More mail will be moved by train, but this will be mainly bulk mail carried during the day, and mail will no longer be sorted on trains.’
    • ‘I travelled by foot, by hitch-hiking and by clambering onto the wagons of freight trains.’
    • ‘We spent the rest of our time in town watching freight trains noisily pass over the diamond.’
    • ‘He went by bicycle down to the railway, then by train to Christchurch, by tram to the Square and on foot to College.’
    • ‘Many communities traversed by freight trains have raised the issue of the whistles.’
    • ‘We made good time out of San Antonio and saw lots of freight trains on the sidings.’
    • ‘Very early trains were signalled by Railway Policemen on the line-side, with red and green flags.’
    • ‘In fact, there will be no more locomotives pulling the train because each carriage has its own engine.’
    • ‘For instance, if I zoom down to my estate in east London I can clearly make out parked cars, or the trains on the nearby railway.’
    • ‘In others areas too much traction power has been fed into trains, causing the motors to shut down.’
    • ‘There has also been a considerable investment in commuter trains and light railway rapid-transit systems to ease congestion on roads and pollution.’
    • ‘On Sunday and Monday the railway will run additional trains using locomotives and coaches shown in the film, including the Green Dragon No.957.’
    • ‘The train wasn't quite as crowded, though the police were doing crowd control Japanese railways style to keep the trains moving without too much delay.’
    • ‘If you are first time visitor, don't try to go there by train since the railway station is very confusing.’
    • ‘Much of the travel was aboard a charming little narrow-gauge railway train hauled by elderly puffing steam locomotives.’
    • ‘Yesterday he enjoyed chatting with the engine driver and looking at the trains at the National Railway Museum in York.’
    • ‘Sure enough, the railway mortar fired several times, and the train began to move forward.’
    • ‘Those travelling by train from Sligo railway station can now get their tickets at the touch of a screen.’
    • ‘Included in the deal was the carriage by train to Oxenholme station.’
  • 2A number of vehicles or pack animals moving in a line.

    ‘a camel train’
    • ‘Action must be taken quickly to get smaller off-road vehicles or mule trains ready to distribute food before the snows fall.’
    • ‘Pack trains were capable of moving very considerable quantities of goods, often through difficult terrain.’
    • ‘Sattahip has not produced much traffic for rail, although I believe a train of oil tank wagons did run each night for a time.’
    • ‘He established guards for his artillery trains and directed that a liaison orderly be sent from each battery to brigade headquarters.’
    • ‘No amount of imperial bluster, disciplined armies or powerful artillery trains could impress these hardened tribes.’
    • ‘A train of twenty-eight mules would carry about four tons, a similar number of horses about three tons.’
    • ‘Chilton had held third for much of the race, stubbornly refusing to allow a train of cars past him with some excellent defensive driving.’
    procession, line, file, column, convoy, cavalcade, caravan, queue, rank, string, succession, progression, array
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    1. 2.1 A retinue of attendants accompanying an important person.
      ‘a minister and his train of attendants’
      • ‘Regally an hour and a half late, Ermias arrives with a train of 20 family members, bodyguards and aides.’
      • ‘A man dressed like an aristocrat in silk lead a train of servants out of the jungle and down the beach.’
      • ‘Normally she had a train of courtiers surrounding her, but this was a private matter.’
      • ‘He is reported to have been wealthy and to have kept a train of boy attendants and also to have provided dowries for many girls of Acragas.’
      • ‘The next morning, he knocked on her door, just as she burst out of it, followed by a train of servants carrying cases and valises.’
      • ‘She was accompanied by a train of servants including cooks.’
      • ‘At Dalkeith Castle on August 3rd, King James himself, in a crimson velvet jacket, rode in with a train of horsemen.’
      • ‘On that day, a train of local dignitaries, shareholders, local MPs and the Lord Mayor of York travelled the full length of the line.’
      • ‘He had quite a train of coolies with him, carrying himself and his baggage through the dense forests.’
      retinue, entourage, cortège, following, staff, household, court, suite
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    2. 2.2 A series of gears or other connected parts in machinery.
      ‘a train of gears’
      • ‘As our simulations show, a rouleau of flat RBCs behaves quite differently from a train of ellipses of the same size.’
      • ‘Contact between the cams and the tappets in the valve train span the mixed and boundary regions.’
      • ‘The authors were able to predict the magnitude of facilitation but not its rate of growth during a train of impulses.’
      • ‘The engines had twin overhead camshafts which were gear driven via a train of gears coming from the rear of the crankshaft.’
    3. 2.3 A series of connected events or thoughts.
      ‘the train of events leading to Pascoe's death’
      ‘I failed to follow his train of thought’
      • ‘Again, he chuckled as if this whole train of events was nothing but some outrageous mischief meant to unnerve me.’
      • ‘Idleness is the greatest curse that can fall upon man, for vice and crime follow in its train.’
      • ‘In other words, the treatment brought about a train of negative consequences for the group.’
      • ‘Their coastal defences penetrated, the Germans set into motion a train of events to turn the tables.’
      • ‘The gratuitous killing was the beginning of a shocking train of events that 13 years later has led her to Yorkshire in search of a new and better life.’
      • ‘Europe has demonstrated its complete inability to oppose this train of events.’
      • ‘However, instead of continuing on the train to bad health, why not actually stop and listen to your body's inner voice?’
      • ‘My strategy is always to pursue the right questions in the right order, to set the logical train in motion.’
      • ‘This bizarre train of events gives some indication of the conditions that exist in many South African factories.’
      • ‘The House of Lords spoke in terms of a physical act on the part of the accused setting the train of events in motion.’
      • ‘Unionists had some reason to feel anxious at this train of events.’
      • ‘History had become a thriving discipline in nineteenth-century Germany, and philosophy of history followed in its train.’
      • ‘This train of events brings to mind the early days of the Nixon Administration.’
      • ‘Is the train of tragic events that follows a manifestation of its destructive nature?’
      • ‘The last two books deal in particular with the industrial expansion of the early part of the century, and the degradation that followed in its train.’
      • ‘It is his sale of Christ that sets in motion the train of events leading up to the Crucifixion.’
      • ‘We cannot know what train of events our actions will set in motion.’
      • ‘But once this train was set in motion, it became impossible to stop or even to alter its course.’
      • ‘As Keith writes, no one can be completely sure of the exact train of events that day - only of the outcome.’
      chain, string, series, sequence, succession, set, progression, course, cycle, line, row, order, trail, concatenation
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  • 3A long piece of material attached to the back of a formal dress or robe that trails along the ground.

    ‘the bride wore a cream silk dress with a train’
    • ‘A silk satin column wrap train dress was pretty and poised, while the silk velvet tuxedo turned out a new spin on menswear.’
    • ‘She screamed and shoved her way out of his hands and down the hallway, her long dress's train trailing behind her.’
    • ‘She was dressed in an overly and unnecessarily long dress that left a train that seemed to serve as an effective floor sweeper.’
    • ‘She wore a train on her wedding dress 2,000 ft long in an attempt to get into the Guinness Book Of Records.’
    • ‘He had carried her all the way to his horse, the long train of her blue dress trailing behind them, and placed her in front of him in the saddle.’
    • ‘Sarah stepped up on the stage and Stephanie flipped the train so that the dress fanned out.’
    • ‘Her eye mask was pushed upon her forehead and her bathrobe rope trailed after her like a train of a wedding gown.’
    • ‘A train of long red velvet cuts the stage in two like a river of blood.’
    • ‘You know, what if I step on my train and tear my dress?’
    • ‘She was dressed in a clingy serpent green gown with a long train and a humongous collar.’
    • ‘She studied her customer for a second, then just as quickly began to take off the train, then each piece of the dress.’
    • ‘Her outfit was a voluminous lace affair without shape or style, and I couldn't see her own shoes from the grubby train of her dress.’
    • ‘The bridesmaids wore lilac strapless gowns with puddled trains, and carried smaller versions of the bride's bouquet.’
    • ‘This time it is very different because Isaiah sees there the Lord high and lifted up and the train of his robe filling the temple.’
    • ‘A formal daytime wedding is when the bride wears a white, ivory or pastel colored floor length gown with a train and a long veil.’
    • ‘Long trains over trousers and grass skirts add another dimension.’
    • ‘The bride, given in marriage by her father, looked radiant in a white satin dress with a train of satin lace with matching headdress.’
    • ‘Her dress resembles a beach featuring rocks at the bottom with fish and pearls, sewn and painted and even a train of octopus tentacles.’
    tail, appendage
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  • 4A trail of gunpowder for firing an explosive charge.


  • in train

    • (of arrangements) in progress.

      ‘an investigation is in train’
      • ‘While the Culchie Competition is restricted to men the women of the area are not being neglected either with plans now in train to select a festival queen.’
      • ‘School, when it comes, sets in train a whole new set of anxious targets - reading and counting and writing, to be mastered by a given age and in step with your peers.’
      • ‘I'm still pinching myself that an inquiry has been set in train.’
      • ‘The FA have no fewer than three investigations in train.’
      • ‘Each syndicate member received £660,387 and plans are already in train for spending some of the windfall.’
      • ‘That set in train a series of actions - or rather, inactions - that led to only six of the 20 cars starting the race.’
      • ‘He suggested they put up the No Parking signs and bring in the wardens and put in train the temporary car park on the green area beside the Craddockstown Road.’
      • ‘However, the recommendation, along with others such as a dedicated agency for the Irish abroad, have never been set in train.’
      • ‘Such a report puts in train a detailed investigation which may be unnecessary if, as is frequently the case, the incident is not one of carbon monoxide poisoning.’
      • ‘My clear priority is to rebuild that confidence through the actions we have now set in train.’
  • in the train of

    • 1Following behind.

      ‘there appeared in his train two of his servants carrying a portmanteau’
      • ‘He was a painter early in his life, but then studied with a certain Bryson and with the Democritean Anaxarchus, with whom he travelled to India in the train of Alexander the Great.’
      • ‘He follows in the train of distinguished Erasmus lecturers, including Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger, Peter Berger, Paul Johnson, Jean-Marie Cardinal Lustiger, Rabbi David Novak, and Mary Ann Glendon.’
      • ‘Carried to Italy (probably in the train of the Borgia popes), it was developed further, the flat bridge of the vihuela being replaced by a free-standing arched bridge, which was glued to the belly like that of a guitar.’
      • ‘Few thought to ask, to question the idea that ‘the people’ could be led as always, would follow blindly in the train of materialistic progress to social or cultural ‘progress’.’
      1. 1.1As a consequence of.
        ‘unemployment brings great difficulties in its train’
        • ‘This was possible due to the immigration of many Iranians to Bengal in the train of Muslim conquest and in the service of the rulers.’


Middle English (as a noun in the sense ‘delay’): from Old French train (masculine), traine (feminine), from trahiner (verb), from Latin trahere ‘pull, draw’. Early noun senses were ‘trailing part of a robe’ and ‘retinue’; the latter gave rise to ‘line of travelling people or vehicles’, later ‘a connected series of things’. The early verb sense ‘cause a plant to grow in a desired shape’ was the basis of the sense ‘instruct’.