Meaning of funicular in English:


Pronunciation /fjʊˈnɪkjʊlə/ /fəˈnɪkjʊlə/

See synonyms for funicular

Translate funicular into Spanish


  • 1(of a railway, especially one on a mountainside) operating by cable with ascending and descending cars counterbalanced.

    ‘The enormous growth of tourism in the Alps means funicular railway and cable car operators seek to transport far more visitors than their operations were originally intended for.’
    • ‘I could have descended the hill by funicular railway, only there seemed little point queueing to squeeze myself into an overcrowded carriage for the one minute journey.’
    • ‘A funicular railway scales the mountain to the jumping-off point for the sledge run, which winds five kilometres downhill back to the railway terminus.’
    • ‘A few yards into the trees we came to a single bright-yellow car of a funicular railway.’
    • ‘If you opt for the mountain's new, controversial funicular railway, then you are probably going to find yourself trapped inside a glass visitors' centre, barred from even setting foot on Cairngorm.’
    • ‘First, it required a metro back into town (nearest metro stop just over a kilometre away) then a train out north, then a tram up a very steep hill, then a funicular railway to the top.’
    • ‘Take the funicular railway up Penang Hill, past the old colonial-style bungalows, to see the magnificent views from the top.’
    • ‘Requiring a more convenient mode of transportation, the idea of a railway was broached in 1897, but it wasn't until 1924 that the funicular railway to the top of Flagstaff Hill was built.’
    • ‘Start from the car park under Cairn Gorm, with its new funicular railway, which is still the cause of much debate.’
    • ‘The Government decision means the green light for major work to refurbish Pier Hill and provide a new link through a lift or funicular railway from the High Street to the seafront.’
    • ‘A ride on the oldest funicular railway in Asia, to the Victoria Peak, commonly known as the Peak, was spectacular.’
    • ‘So, in April 1884, they opened the first of a series of funicular railways, or elevadores, to tackle the gradients.’
    • ‘In the other direction from Poncebos, a bizarre (and ecologically controversial) funicular railway tunnels through the rock up to the sleepy village of Bulnes.’
    • ‘A group of architects will this week unveil their visions for the future of Edinburgh's Royal Mile - including pedestrianisation, trams and a funicular railway.’
    • ‘It is built on seven hills and sits around a beautiful harbour in the quaintly named Puddefjord, best viewed from the funicular railway that takes you more than 1,000 ft above the city.’
    • ‘As the heat fades from the Italian summer, now's the ideal time to find out why, by taking advantage of the local airport and catching the funicular railway up to Bergamo's medieval citadel.’
    • ‘Those inside the funicular railway, trying to make their way up to the 3029m summit station of the glacier, are likely to have been keen young skiers and snow-boarders.’
    • ‘The big news this year is, of course, the opening of Cairngorm's high-speed funicular railway, a facility that, as far as skiers is concerned, is long overdue.’
    • ‘He left because he was alarmed at the environmental damage being done by the 1.2 mile funicular railway being built to within 500 feet of the Cairngorm summit.’
    • ‘Cairngorm is hoping the £15m funicular railway, which opened last year, will help open the mountain to leisure pursuits other than skiing.’
  • 2Relating to a rope or its tension.


  • A funicular railway.

    ‘Tourism minister Mike Watson was under pressure last night to scrap restrictions on the new Cairngorm mountain railway which prevent walkers getting on or off the funicular at the top of the mountain.’
    • ‘Is it conceivable that the funicular will impact on Hayes's tourist traffic?’
    • ‘The ride itself ‘on one of the widest funiculars in the world’ takes seven minutes with a single upload of 120 standing passengers, whisking its clients from 2,100 feet to Ptarmigan Station at 3,600 feet.’
    • ‘Craving solitude we flock to the hills in droves; in search of the unspoilt we scar their slopes with tarmac and funiculars.’
    • ‘Although the official line is that the funicular will benefit the other ski areas by increasing the number of tourists who come to the Highlands, there are barely-concealed anxieties that it could monopolise an already shrinking market.’
    • ‘The 11 th-century Hohensalzburg Fortress, overlooking the Salzburg, affords amazing views and if you can't face the walk, its 1892 funicular will take you to the top in no time.’
    • ‘He believes, however, that the funicular will plague the Westminster government and the Scottish Executive for years to come, particularly at election times.’
    • ‘After brunch in one of the many small cafes selling sweet potato snacks, dried donut cakes and biscuits, we make our way over the bridge, past the llama rides and into the throng of people waiting for the next funicular.’
    • ‘That presents no problem in Bergen: there is a funicular in the dead centre of the city rising up the nearest hill to walking trails which double up for cross country skiers in winter.’
    • ‘Admission to the Railroaders Memorial Museum includes access to Horseshoe Curve, which has a small museum and a funicular from there to the tracks of the curve.’
    • ‘Adams said more than 16,000 people had used the funicular in May and only 5% of them had objected to the system.’
    • ‘The funicular would suddenly stop, and you would look down and see the village miles below.’
    • ‘Mountaineers who have not used the funicular will not be allowed into the centre.’
    • ‘And there are almost as many domestic tourists reaching every nook and cranny of the country by a seamless transport system, its elements being trains - cogwheels, funiculars included - cable cars, buses and trams.’
    • ‘Apart from cliffside funiculars, it is the oldest working cable tramway in Britain.’
    • ‘That evening we dined at a mountain restaurant at Sunegga which can be reached only after a steep ride in a funicular.’


Mid 17th century (in the sense ‘of or like a cord or thread’): from Latin funiculus (diminutive of funis ‘rope’) + -ar.