Definition of trolley in English:



  • 1

    • ‘Palm trees stand tall, the red car trolley can be seen, jazz can be heard from buildings - it's a wonderful new day.’
    • ‘Local businesses sponsor the Uptown route, and the red trolleys are called the Gold Rush Service, after the gold that was discovered here in the late 1700s.’
    • ‘Readily available bus shuttles and the city's trolley service were the best ways to go and quite easy.’
    • ‘They have one double-decker trolley that was under heavy restoration, and two that are enclosed for use in the winter.’
    • ‘You can easily stroll Galveston's gas-lamp - studded streets or get around by trolley.’
    • ‘When he became a Democratic alderman in Brooklyn, he also became a conductor on the Coney Island trolley.’
    • ‘Auto companies did buy up the city's Red Car trolley and dismantle it.’
    • ‘The Route 15 trolley last ran on Girard Avenue in September 1992.’
    • ‘The village is served by four stops on the city's trolley line, which makes it transit-oriented.’
    • ‘A restaurant and gift shop appeared, guided tours were offered in open-air trolleys, and visitors could attend a cliff-diving show or see a hula dance.’
    • ‘And several museums and a zoo on Chicago's North Side just won a federal grant for a new trolley to bring visitors up from downtown.’
    • ‘Some eighty thousand trolleys once clanged over forty-five thousand miles of track in cities across the United States.’
    • ‘Despite this particular difficulty in enforcement, Mobile city officials stubbornly sought to segregate trolleys.’
    • ‘A few minutes later, an old looking trolley cruised down the street and stopped in front of Toby's driveway.’
    • ‘Although the 1917 law further solidified Mobile's system of segregated trolleys, African Americans did not respond with a boycott as in 1902.’
    • ‘In addition, bus and trolley fleets will be renewed and upgraded.’
    • ‘We went by trolley to a Chinese restaurant, Sam Wah's, which I believe was the only one in Austin.’
    • ‘There are also bicycles with big baskets to assist boaters in their errands, and during special boating events, free trolleys circle the marinas along the river and downtown.’
    • ‘He was a former president of the Historical Society and conducted trolley tours for the Society.’
  • 2A wheel attached to a pole, used for collecting current from an overhead electric wire to drive a streetcar or trolley bus.

    • ‘In later years, the tarries were electrified, and poles held the trolley wire.’
    • ‘They also had to replace the trolley pole when it escaped from the overhead wire.’
    handcart, pushcart, trolley, barrow, wheelbarrow
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  • 3British A large metal basket or frame on wheels, used for transporting heavy or large items, such as supermarket purchases or luggage at an airport or railroad station.

    • ‘Many parents use car seats to carry their babies or secure them in their pushchairs and supermarket trolleys.’
    • ‘Supermarket trolleys and burned-out cars replaced the brightly coloured barges that once proudly carried grain, coal, wool, salt and timber.’
    • ‘I saw several people who, like him, appeared to have their worldly possessions stacked neatly on a metal trolley.’
    • ‘The group's services range from treatments to harden metals for aero-engines to providing the shine on metals used in supermarket trolleys.’
    • ‘Supermarkets have experienced a surge in the theft of trolleys and shopping baskets since the introduction of the plastic bags tax earlier this year.’
    • ‘There was no wheelchair available and she was advised to use an airport trolley.’
    • ‘It is possible they used a metal trolley to move the stolen goods, which was abandoned outside the building.’
    • ‘A shocking exposé of the British food industry that will make readers look seriously at the contents of their supermarket trolleys.’
    • ‘Activists went into the supermarkets, filled trolleys with pasta, and then left them at the checkout counter.’
    • ‘Retailers recognise that some shoppers have no other way of getting their groceries home, so they won't stop people pushing trolleys out of supermarket car parks.’
    • ‘The government knows older people will be forced out of decent jobs and forced into menial jobs like filling supermarket trolleys and opening doors for a pittance.’
    • ‘Just like supermarket trolleys, baggage trolleys have a mind of their own.’
    • ‘Clearing customs at an airport terminal, he insists on pushing a luggage trolley.’
    • ‘When it came to buckling the children into the supermarket trolley, belt use was in direct proportion to attractiveness.’
    • ‘Supermarket trolleys are well-known for their irritating tendency to veer from the straight and narrow, apparently at their own whim.’
    • ‘For some reason, the papers were wheeled around the hall in supermarket trolleys.’
    • ‘Many of us spend weekend afternoons pushing the trolley round the supermarket or ambling through a shopping mall.’
    • ‘We pay for trolleys in airports and supermarkets, and for parking we either scratch a permit, ‘pay and display’ or ‘park and ride’.’
    • ‘Supermarket trolleys can cause back strain.’
    • ‘Choose a trolley rather than a basket as this offers you more mobility.’
    1. 3.1 A small table on wheels or casters, typically used to convey food and drink.
      • ‘It's a small, intimate restaurant with just a few tables, a sweet trolley parked prominently in the centre of the room when you arrive.’
      • ‘The portable oven trolleys, found in each ward, ensure the food is hot, without burning, before serving.’
      • ‘In their immaculate uniforms they go through safety procedures and tirelessly parade the aisles, pushing trolleys laden with drinks, meals and duty free.’
      • ‘Without missing a beat, another aide approached the table, wheeling a trolley heaped with food.’
      • ‘Then, last week, the system would not operate at all, so the staff were stuck outside the block unable to return to duty - unable to get the food trolleys in, so the meals were served late.’
      • ‘‘Thanks for your help,’ Keira said sarcastically, as she grabbed a metal tray off the food trolley.’
      • ‘Two of them will get an opportunity to accompany the drinks trolley during the match!’
      • ‘Prisoners are fed breakfast, lunch and dinner by wardens who come down the corridors with ready-cooked food on trolleys but many inmates prefer to make their own meals in the evening.’
      • ‘And while the fare is more, you get more comfort - including toilets and a food trolley service.’
      • ‘Communal cooking in Israel will never excite the gourmet, but the meals which are wheeled to the tables on stainless steel trolleys are balanced and filling.’
      • ‘He took to the kitchen, smashing bowls and plates, turning over trolleys and pushing over tables.’
      • ‘Catering consists of a trolley offering drinks, tea, coffee and snacks.’
      • ‘Sebastian stood up and walked to a trolley of food that had been behind the door.’
      • ‘A smartly dressed waitress pushed a trolley to the table and loaded it promptly.’
      • ‘A trolley is wheeled in from the kitchen, and any teachers that happen to be present at the time team together to dish out the meals.’
      • ‘Apart from the used items, the showroom also sports new custom-made articles like dinner tables and bar trolleys.’
      • ‘In the restaurant, walking, talking robot trolleys will move around serving drinks.’
      • ‘Satine turns to a trolley with food and drink on it, and picks up a bottle of Champagne from the ice bucket.’
      • ‘One businessman was told there were too many people on board and they could not wheel trolleys with hot drinks as it was a safety hazard.’
      • ‘We were just about to board when we were told a food trolley had activated one of the emergency chutes and they had to fly a part from Britain.’


  • off one's trolley

    • informal Mad; insane.

      • ‘She said you'd think she's off her trolley if I told you.’
      • ‘People think I'm off my trolley but it's exhilarating.’
      • ‘Is it my imagination or have we all gone off our trolley?’
      • ‘First, to make sure I wasn't totally off my trolley, I sent an email to my fellow rocker, Michele.’
      • ‘He is an ex-supermarket boss who is off his trolley.’
      • ‘‘I reckon you're off your trolley,’ she says with surprising insight.’
      • ‘I just didn't expect him to be so totally off his trolley as he was that night.’
      • ‘Then of course there are those who are quite literally off their trolley.’
      • ‘If, ten years ago, anyone had proposed that children in British schools should be taught in any other language than English they too would have been vilified and accused of being ‘off their trolley.’’
      • ‘Haven't they noticed that she's off her trolley?’
      severely mentally ill, mentally ill, insane, mad, certifiable, deranged, demented, of unsound mind, out of one's mind, not in one's right mind, not together, crazed, maniac, maniacal, lunatic, unbalanced, unhinged, unstable, disturbed, distracted, stark mad, manic, frenzied, raving, distraught, frantic, hysterical, delirious, mad as a hatter, mad as a march hare
      View synonyms


Early 19th century: of dialect origin, perhaps from troll.