Meaning of tram in English:


Pronunciation /tram/

Translate tram into Spanish


(also tramcar)
  • 1British A passenger vehicle powered by electricity conveyed by overhead cables, and running on rails laid in a public road.

    ‘Towns and cities considering tram schemes yesterday attacked Government indecision and demanded clear guidelines on what Ministers were prepared to pay for.’
    • ‘She pointed out that at present it takes only 20 minutes to get to Manchester by train from Rochdale, but would take longer by tram.’
    • ‘But we're also seeing lots more shoppers using the bus, tram and train as a convenient and welcome way of coming into our town.’
    • ‘Bus tickets, tram passes, shopping lists, bits of paper - just like mine!’
    • ‘London Mayor Ken Livingstone recently gave a provisional thumbs-up to a tram link extension to Crystal Palace.’
    • ‘Electric trams and buses and a new underground system would be the envy of many western cities.’
    • ‘A covered walkway will link the bus waiting area and tram stop platform.’
    • ‘The collision happened as the tracks cross yards from the tram stop.’
    • ‘She was born in 1899 when horse-drawn trams still trundled through the streets of Southampton.’
    • ‘The horse-drawn trams covered the distance in forty five minutes, and the faster steam trams took twenty five minutes.’
    • ‘Preston could have a tram network within a decade, according to council chiefs.’
    • ‘He said: ‘Extending the tram network is something we support in principle.’’
    • ‘There are about 42 million trips a year on the existing tram network.’
    • ‘(I caught a tram to work this morning and it only took 20 minutes!’
    • ‘The 16-year-old girl boarded the tram in Manchester and travelled to Bury.’
    • ‘The developments will allow drivers to park their cars and to board trams.’
    • ‘Locals use strips of tickets which they stamp on board the tram.’
    • ‘The first step will be the upgrade of the existing line and purchase of new trams.’
    • ‘All of which means the resort might as well build a new tram.’
    • ‘Eight new trams are also to be brought onto the network.’
  • 2 historical A low four-wheeled cart or barrow used in coal mines.

    ‘Paddy who was a former miner was delighted with the birthday cake, in the shape of an old tram full of coal.’
    • ‘We were then issued rubber boots and hard hats and were taken several thousand feet into the mine, where we got off the tram to look at one of the orebodies.’
    • ‘The tram was built to carry coal from the immediately adjacent coal mine to a row of beehive coking ovens and thence to the smelter furnaces.’
    • ‘The stone was placed on a small cart or flat tram and rolled under the frame and locked in place.’


    be on the wrong tram
    Australian informal
    • Be pursuing an unproductive course of action.

      • ‘when you start gifting money to polluters you know you're on the wrong tram’
      • ‘You are on the wrong tram. This is not productive. We must move forward and put all this behind us.’
      • ‘His action is a lot more honourable than what she did—so this critic is on the wrong tram!’
      • ‘He is on the wrong tram regarding the astronomical amount he paid for the cricket.’
      • ‘Am I on the wrong tram, have I found myself on a sitcom, have I been pranked?’
      • ‘You are on the wrong tram as a leader if you don't file tax returns.’


Early 16th century (denoting a shaft of a barrow; also in tram (sense 2)): from Middle Low German and Middle Dutch trame ‘beam, barrow shaft’. In the early 19th century the word denoted the parallel wheel tracks used in a mine, on which the public tramway was modelled; hence tram (sense 1) (late 19th century).