Definition of phaeton in English:



  • 1A light, open, four-wheeled horse-drawn carriage.

    • ‘A woman, in a plum coloured riding habit, on a spirited black mare, was talking to the phaeton's driver.’
    • ‘There were bailees, the two wheeled bullock carts with bright canopies, and palkees, and there were graceful English phaetons or buggies, drawn by well groomed Arab steeds.’
    • ‘The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh rode to the parade in a Victorian phaeton pulled by two grey geldings.’
    • ‘When Beekman purchased his coach from his agent in London, he was already the proud possessor of a chaise, a chariot, and a phaeton.’
    • ‘And it was in this reliable old phaeton that I took her back to my home, strapping her and her sizeable dowry to the buckboard.’
    1. 1.1US A vintage touring car.
      • ‘Discover how much money you can save on a new or leased Volkswagen Phaeton car by using our free price comparison service.’
      • ‘The Phaeton is the perfect body style for fun. Whether you are cruising in a parade with the top up, or have it folded down for some open air highway driving, this is the kind of car that begs to be driven and yields more fun per mile than any other.’


Mid 18th century: from French phaéton, via Latin from the Greek name Phaethōn (see Phaethon).