Definition of travel in English:



  • 1[no object, with adverbial] Make a journey, typically of some length.

    ‘the vessel had been travelling from Libya to Ireland’
    ‘we travelled thousands of miles’
    • ‘Often this meant travelling together the length and breadth of America in a station wagon.’
    • ‘On one occasion he ran eight marathons in just ten days, and has often had to travel for thousands of miles to get from one race to the next.’
    • ‘Karl still has thousands of miles left to travel before he walks through the Channel Tunnel and into the arms of his family some time around 2009.’
    • ‘The diary travelled across the length and breadth of South Africa, just as it accompanies Strauss wherever he plays cricket in this country.’
    • ‘Strange how your mind wanders when you're travelling alone.’
    • ‘Being a successful documentary filmmaker, her father brought his family to travel around the globe.’
    • ‘You'd have to travel back in time almost 20 years to find their origin.’
    • ‘North Wiltshire farmers and hauliers fear plans to move the Chippenham Livestock Market to Cribbs Causeway would make travelling a nightmare.’
    • ‘In 1828 he travelled to Vienna for a series of wildly successful concerts, so launching a considerable European career, taking him to almost all the major centres.’
    • ‘He also said care should be taken on the journey home and recommended people not to travel alone.’
    • ‘Various consultancy jobs followed, but his passion for travelling took over.’
    • ‘Eventually, I was given the green light, but one of my colleagues with whom I was travelling said she started to wonder if I was going to be allowed to take the flight that day.’
    • ‘I once fell in love over the internet, and travelled 5 thousand miles to meet her.’
    • ‘Her daughter told how the extra travelling involved meant she would have less daily contact with her mum.’
    • ‘He was big into greyhounds all his life and regularly travelled to meetings the length and breadth of the country.’
    • ‘Wise to the ways of the world, Emmanuelle travels about alone.’
    • ‘You have to travel back to 19th century India to discover the origin of this particular phrase.’
    • ‘They are asking local people to let relatives who were travelling know that the event has been cancelled and the people who have bookings for accommodation to do’
    • ‘It is thought thousands of people travelled for hundreds of miles bringing their cattle with them for the feast, which was held after the Roman invasion.’
    • ‘With travelling reduced to a manageable level, stress levels have decreased, and headspace has been restored.’
    1. 1.1[with object]Journey along (a road) or through (a region)
      ‘he travelled the world with the army’
      • ‘Not even fish will be forgiven for travelling this road.’
      • ‘It was, to that point, the road not travelled by any of us.’
      • ‘Yesterday the cyclists travelled the road from Mullingar to Claremorris.’
      • ‘The bulk of the chapter examines three basic ways in which a proposal can travel the long road from proposal to decision.’
      • ‘Jack and Jackson were traveling a bumpy road for a while there.’
      • ‘God knows I have travelled rough roads in my reporting years but it is difficult to recall one that was so consistently bad for such a long distance.’
      • ‘There may be powers that are not malignant travelling this accursed road.’
      • ‘Yes, the paper has travelled a long road in 20 years.’
      • ‘He took great pleasure in travelling the roads and boreens on a Sunday afternoon drive.’
      • ‘For adventure touring in New Zealand, travelling the highways and byways can provide some impromptu thrills.’
      • ‘I have the misfortune through my job to have to travel that road several times a day.’
      • ‘Most have travelled a long road to get to San Roque, and the pressure of trying to hold it all together over six gruelling rounds cannot be underestimated.’
      • ‘Astrology gives the individual a chance to travel the road to self discovery, independently.’
      • ‘This is the age at which they can wander and be induced to travel the wrong road.’
      • ‘The lines on Johnny Cash's face showed a man who had travelled many roads and seen many things - but also a man who had gained much wisdom along the way.’
      • ‘In his time with the company, he travelled every road and boreen in the Waterford area and he had many a conversation with his clients about farming life.’
      • ‘Maybe you are searching for peace and you have traveled many roads without finding it.’
      • ‘Before he moved to Cambodia John Keeler had lived in Ireland, travelling the country in an ambulance he had converted into a mini theatre which put on puppet shows for children.’
      • ‘In England the road traffic code system is much the same as here, if you stay away from the motorways and travel the country roads.’
      • ‘I travel this road every day going to and from work.’
      journey, tour, take a trip, go on a trip, voyage, go on an expedition, go on an excursion, go sightseeing, globetrot, backpack
      View synonyms
    2. 1.2Withstand a journey without illness or impairment.
      ‘he usually travels well, but he did get a bit upset on a very rough crossing’
      • ‘It is also a look that travels well - and one where ringing the changes is as easy as popping a second jumper or a scarf into the bag.’
      • ‘The fruit travels well if picked just before it is fully ripe, so fresh lychees are available in western countries.’
      • ‘The food must be the sort that travels well, which means leaving melons, roast chickens, loaves of bread et cetera whole and carving them on site.’
    3. 1.3Be successful away from the place of origin.
      ‘accordion music travels well’
      • ‘I am forced to the conclusion that this is not a play that travels well.’
      • ‘The theory travels well, especially across the Atlantic.’
      • ‘The story travels well, indicating that sports obsession is a universal quality.’
  • 2[no object] (of an object or radiation) move, typically in a constant or predictable way.

    ‘light travels faster than sound’
    • ‘The difference is that the patient is first injected with a light sensitive dye which travels to the retina and highlights the abnormal blood vessels.’
    • ‘This year they will be travelling through Earth's orbit on November 18.’
    • ‘The result of this is a cloud of fragments orbiting the planet travelling at speeds of 3-6 kilometres a second.’
    • ‘No studies have been made in bordering countries, although there are concerns that radiation travels via the wind, water and fauna.’
    • ‘The effect reaches as far as light can travel, burning itself like a candle with a kaleidoscope of colours.’
    • ‘If there were just one molecule in the box, then there would be an obvious rule: it travels at constant speed, and bounces off the walls of the box when it hits them.’
    • ‘The amount of rays constantly traveling through their body was immeasurable.’
    • ‘Sunlight traveling from space into the earth's atmosphere will undergo a large amount of refraction.’
    • ‘In fact, no two rays are traveling toward the same point along the optical axis.’
    • ‘Third is immediate radiation travelling at the speed of light-neutron radiation at shorter distances, and gamma radiation further out.’
    • ‘An air mass of 1 means that the sun is directly overhead and the radiation travels through one atmosphere (thickness).’
    • ‘Suppose we have two observers A and B in different inertial frames, that is each is travelling at a constant velocity not acted on by any forces.’
    • ‘Special relativity only applied to objects travelling at constant speed, that is, to inertial frames of reference.’
    • ‘By then the universe had cooled down enough for neutral atoms to form, at last allowing radiation to travel unimpeded.’
    • ‘Light rays travel through the lens at the front of the eye and form images on the retina.’
    • ‘This means that light rays travel to the back of the retina before they have been bent by the cornea and lens.’
    • ‘Perhaps he is unaware the metre is based on a tiny fraction of the distance that white light travels in a vacuum per second, while a yard is based on the distance from your nose to your outstretched hand.’
    • ‘These fronts travel at constant speeds and can deliver signals to arbitrary distances.’
    • ‘Lightning is seen first because sound travels slower than light.’
    • ‘He believes that these rays travel with infinite velocity.’
    move, proceed, progress, advance
    View synonyms
    1. 2.1Go or be moved from place to place.
      ‘a travelling exhibition’
      • ‘It should have come to London but the Hackney Empire has delayed its opening until January at the earliest, by which time Hall's travelling players will have moved on.’
      • ‘An emphasis on travelling exhibitions has meant some of the town's gems have rarely been on show in recent years.’
      • ‘Author Miles Franklin's brilliant career is currently on show at Lismore Library as part of a State Library travelling exhibition.’
      • ‘An Arts Council travelling exhibition of his work opened in Kilkenny in 1981.’
      • ‘Dunphy's Variety Group from Kill, Ireland's only old-style travelling show, will be back in action again by the end of April with a brand new show.’
      • ‘Their variety show is based on the old style travelling show, which came to towns and villages around Ireland in the old days.’
      • ‘The Bigger than Bollywood travelling poster exhibition from the British Film Institute Library is at Bury Central Library until June 11.’
      • ‘The aim is to catch local and travelling criminals as they move in and out of York.’
      • ‘After appearing at Bluewater shopping centre the exhibition is travelling to 70 cities and hopes to attract three million people.’
      • ‘I design museum exhibits that are travelling the world, I've designed a show for a cruise ship and now I'm doing an amusement park.’
      • ‘In 1978 a concert series was begun and a Winnipeg Art Gallery travelling exhibit initiated.’
      • ‘It houses a rotating exhibition drawn from the permanent collections and also contains an exhibition space for major travelling exhibitions of all periods.’
      • ‘This talented entertainer had his introduction to the business as a member of his family's old style travelling show back in the 60's.’
      • ‘The 18-carat gold watch encrusted with 400 diamonds is part of the Rado travelling exhibition.’
      • ‘In 1996, the Blue Box mobile theatre made its final journey to Leicestershire to become the centrepiece of an exhibition of touring and travelling theatre.’
      • ‘In partnership with the Library Council, the exhibition has been travelling to libraries and shopping centres.’
      • ‘One of them, The Lady Taking Tea, will be travelling to the US with the new exhibition in summer, but is currently enjoying a well-earned rest having just returned from Paris.’
    2. 2.2informal (of a vehicle) move quickly.
      • ‘Surely a pedestrian has more chance of survival if hit by a vehicle travelling at 50 mph rather than 70 mph.’
      • ‘This has left dozens of schools attended by children as young as four and five separated just by walls and gates from vehicles travelling at up to 62 mph.’
      • ‘The accident happened when the Corsa collided with a blue Ford Escort as both vehicles travelled towards Haxby.’
      • ‘He may not be aware that most of accidents happen in urban areas with the vehicles involved travelling at speeds of 30 mph or less.’
      • ‘Now appreciate that a vehicle traveling at 60 mph moves 88 feet per second.’
      • ‘The braking distance for a vehicle travelling at 100k is considerably longer that 54 yards.’
      • ‘But the vehicle travelled less than 50 yards before being stopped by police, who sealed off the road.’
      • ‘Police believe the vehicle was travelling in excess of the sign posted speed limit at the time of the accident.’
      • ‘Vehicles travelling behind that car also brake hard, triggering a domino effect as motorists react to brake lights in front of them, slowing all traffic in that lane.’
      • ‘A third articulated lorry travelling behind the three vehicles also moved across and as it did so ploughed into the back of the car, shunting it into the trucks in front.’
      • ‘He told the court that the officer said the police car was travelling at 100 mph but did not close on the vehicle.’
      • ‘Have they not seen the TV adverts showing what happens if a person is hit by a vehicle travelling too fast?’
      • ‘Both vehicles were travelling at around 50 mph.’
      • ‘The video trailer captured images of the vehicles from behind to enable monitoring of any lateral movement as the vehicles travelled over the platforms.’
      • ‘The road, which had been laid with an unfinished base layer, was not finished with a surface of chip and tar to give it the necessary grip for vehicles travelling at normal speed.’
      • ‘He estimated the vehicles were travelling at up to 65 mph in a 20 mph zone, where traffic is controlled by speed chicanes.’
      • ‘I feel that calming has a significant effect on vehicles: cars travelling at excessive speeds would create a series of noises from each ‘hump’.’
      • ‘He said the area had been ‘identified as posing a significant threat to pedestrians and motorists mainly from vehicles travelling too fast.’’
      • ‘Residents have now told the county council they want a seven-and-a-half tonne limit imposed on vehicles travelling on the village's 30 mph stretch.’
      • ‘It was probable that some of the vehicles were travelling at speed.’
      go fast, go rapidly, drive fast, speed, race, go at breakneck speed, hurry, hurtle, hasten, hotfoot it, whizz, go like lightning, go like greased lightning
      View synonyms


  • 1The action of travelling.

    ‘my job involves a lot of travel’
    • ‘However, with the changing market conditions, the current rate of travel is not going to get us to acceptable performance soon enough.’
    • ‘We also wanted to reduce the depth of the ruts left behind by machine travel on these sites.’
    • ‘I have a choice of modes of travel: I can fly, drive, take a train, cycle, motorcycle, walk, or take a ferry.’
    • ‘Apparently, I work too hard but we have lots of travel and reasons for celebration in our near future.’
    • ‘Their average rates of travel allow for their rest and sleep periods.’
    • ‘More than 50 years ago, the RCMP's work demanded a lot of travel over remote areas by land.’
    • ‘First, the rate of travel of a standard bottle rocket can reach speeds up to 200 miles per hour.’
    • ‘They ran into weather problems and a lack of snow on the ground, Pettis says, which can seriously hamper travel by snow machine.’
    • ‘It also avoided a lot of travel back and forward.’
    • ‘This mode of travel, however futuristic it sounds, is not without precedent.’
    • ‘People have a bad habit of comparing space travel with air travel.’
    • ‘But once he took over the commerce ministry, it meant a lot of travel.’
    • ‘Use fewer trails to limit machine travel, and rutting may become a factor.’
    • ‘Whether it's adventure travel or a mental-health break during reading week, they'll help you get out of town.’
    • ‘Twenty-five years ago, I learned about business travel by spending a lot of time in San Francisco.’
    • ‘After receiving the invitation, my wife and I began to discuss our best mode of travel.’
    • ‘In Washington and California, skiers use the machines to aid travel to remote huts.’
    • ‘There's an enormous amount of travel and a lot of very interesting challenges.’
    • ‘It would provide lots of adventure and travel but at the same time also put a safe distance between him and some of the men and women he had cheated.’
    • ‘She writes on topics ranging from travel to fitness, and also recently completed a mystery novel.’
    1. 1.1[count noun]Journeys, especially abroad.
      ‘perhaps you'll write a book about your travels’
      • ‘On my backpacking travels around the globe I have stayed in many hostels, and the topic always seems to come up in discussions, but it is brought up by all nationalities.’
      • ‘This exhibition reflects scenes and inspiration from his travels at home and abroad.’
      • ‘Welsh and Isherwood convey their joy in the rich variety of wildlife they encounter during their travels, and the book is attractively illustrated.’
      • ‘Julian's future plans consist of writing a book of his travels and releasing a video of his journey, amongst many others.’
      • ‘Recently, an old lover came to visit on his travels across the country.’
      • ‘He named the ship after the forests in Brazil which he had explored during his travels around the world.’
      • ‘She filled her house with exotic objects, rugs, and materials collected on her travels abroad, as well as examples of her own art.’
      • ‘I have a book coming out… a book about my travels in Eastern Europe and America.’
      • ‘He painted a view of Naples, Italy, while on one of his travels abroad.’
      • ‘My travels, adventures and expeditions are basically sponsored by companies.’
      • ‘Its advocates used the non-Western body arts they saw in books and in their travels as sources of inspiration for their own body projects.’
      • ‘A number of the lovely and thought-provoking recollections are also based on his travels abroad including those to Italy, Spain and the Holy Land.’
      • ‘Some religious leaders were wary of his travels, viewing his trips abroad as a way to expand the influence of Catholicsm.’
      • ‘If your plans for new year happen to include a trip to space, the federal government has just released a rule book for your travels.’
      • ‘During his travels abroad, he has compared business support levels in different countries, and says the county has much to be proud of.’
      • ‘One of the newer members made an excellent speech of his travels abroad bringing forth much laughter from his appreciative audience.’
      • ‘I had been encouraging Mum and Dad to visit me on my travels but so far the sticking point has been my Dad's knees.’
      • ‘This has meant a shift to domestic and intra-regional travel involving short-haul destinations at the expense of long-haul travels.’
      • ‘Continuously inspired by his travels abroad, the Atlanta resident also enjoys an audience when he is working.’
      • ‘But Jean still faces an anxious wait until she can see her son again as Ashley has decided to continue his travels and visit Cambodia before returning home in February.’
      journeys, expeditions, trips, tours, excursions, voyages, treks, safaris, odysseys, pilgrimages, jaunts
      journeying, travelling, touring, sightseeing, voyaging, cruising, sailing, backpacking, globetrotting, jet-setting, exploration, trekking, wandering, roving, roaming
      View synonyms
    2. 1.2[as modifier](of a device) sufficiently compact for use on a journey.
      ‘a travel iron’
      • ‘So why not give them a travel gadget that serves a dual purpose?’
      • ‘I zip up my bag, making sure the travel locks are locked, and make my way to the airport.’
      • ‘These neat little gadgets may look like a travel clock, but they've got a bit more processing power.’
      • ‘I, however, don't go anywhere without the Preservador travel humidor.’
      • ‘Be prepared to insert them over the travel lock release mechanism as soon as the blade locks.’
      • ‘Therefore find out in advance if a travel plug or converter will be required, and ensure you take it with you.’
      • ‘The speaker at the July meeting stood before the members with an electric travel iron in one hand and a duster in the other.’
      • ‘I used to use my mobile as a travel clock, switching the phone off before bed and having it wake me up at the appointed hour.’
      • ‘They went outside and found her looking in a travel mirror and putting on even more red lipstick.’
      • ‘Other useful aids include travel mirrors and opaque disposal bags.’
      • ‘I found this travel iron at a thrift store and think it is one of the most beautiful objects I own.’
      • ‘If glamour is your priority, try a travel iron with fold-down handle, or a steamer for clothes de-wrinkling.’
      • ‘Glancing at the travel clock on the floor, Ryan realised he'd been asleep for over five hours.’
      • ‘I purchased a travel iron, of noticeable dinkiness.’
      • ‘I took a travel kettle and travel plug to boil water with me in Malta as well as drinking water from bottles.’
      portable, mobile, transportable, movable, transferable, easily carried, easy to carry, conveyable, travel, lightweight, compact, handy, convenient, manageable
      View synonyms
  • 2The range, rate, or mode of motion of a part of a machine.

    ‘two proximity switches detect when the valve has reached the end of its travel’
    • ‘Like many Quebec contractors, machine travel and ground disturbance are driving issues.’


Middle English: a variant of travail, and originally in the same sense.