What does locomotive mean?

Definitions for locomotive
ˌloʊ kəˈmoʊ tɪvlo·co·mo·tive

This dictionary definitions page includes all the possible meanings, example usage and translations of the word locomotive.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. locomotive, engine, locomotive engine, railway locomotiveadjective

    a wheeled vehicle consisting of a self-propelled engine that is used to draw trains along railway tracks

  2. locomotive, locomotoradjective

    of or relating to locomotion


  1. locomotivenoun

    The power unit of a train which does not carry passengers or freight itself, but pulls the coaches or rail cars or wagons.

  2. locomotivenoun

    A traction engine

  3. locomotivenoun

    A cheer characterized by a slow beginning and a progressive increase in speed

  4. locomotivenoun

    A country which drives the world economy by having a high level of imports. (i.e. The United States).

  5. locomotiveadjective

    of or relating to locomotion

  6. locomotiveadjective

    of or relating to the power unit of a train which does not carry passengers or freight itself

Samuel Johnson's Dictionary

  1. Locomotiveadjective

    Changing place; having the power of removing or changing place.

    Etymology: locus and movco, Lat.

    I shall consider the motion, or locomotive faculty of animals. William Derham, Physico-Theol.

    In the night too oft he kicks,
    Or shows his locomotive tricks. Matthew Prior.

    An animal cannot well be defined from any particular, organical part, nor from its locomotive faculty, for some adhere to rocks. John Arbuthnot, on Aliments.


  1. Locomotive

    A locomotive or engine is a rail transport vehicle that provides the motive power for a train. If a locomotive is capable of carrying a payload, it is usually rather referred to as a multiple unit, motor coach, railcar or power car; the use of these self-propelled vehicles is increasingly common for passenger trains, but rare for freight. Traditionally, locomotives pulled trains from the front. However, push-pull operation has become common, where the train may have a locomotive (or locomotives) at the front, at the rear, or at each end. Most recently railroads have begun adopting DPU or distributed power. The front may have one or two locomotives followed by a mid-train locomotive that is controlled remotely from the lead unit.


  1. locomotive

    A locomotive is a rail transport vehicle that provides the power and motive force for a train by using steam, diesel, or electricity. It is a self-propelled vehicle, often operated by a driver or engineer, capable of pulling or pushing other railway cars or wagons. The primary function is to transport passengers or goods over a railway track.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Locomotiveadjective

    moving from place to place; changing place, or able to change place; as, a locomotive animal

  2. Locomotiveadjective

    used in producing motion; as, the locomotive organs of an animal

  3. Locomotivenoun

    a locomotive engine; a self-propelling wheel carriage, especially one which bears a steam boiler and one or more steam engines which communicate motion to the wheels and thus propel the carriage, -- used to convey goods or passengers, or to draw wagons, railroad cars, etc. See Illustration in Appendix

  4. Etymology: [Cf. F. locomotif. See Locomotion.]


  1. Locomotive

    A locomotive or engine is a railway vehicle that provides the motive power for a train. The word originates from the Latin loco – "from a place", ablative of locus, "place" + Medieval Latin motivus, "causing motion", and is a shortened form of the term locomotive engine, first used in the early 19th century to distinguish between mobile and stationary steam engines. A locomotive has no payload capacity of its own, and its sole purpose is to move the train along the tracks. In contrast, some trains have self-propelled payload-carrying vehicles. These are not normally considered locomotives, and may be referred to as multiple units, motor coaches or railcars. The use of these self-propelled vehicles is increasingly common for passenger trains, but rare for freight. Vehicles which provide motive power to haul an unpowered train, but are not generally considered locomotives because they have payload space or are rarely detached from their trains, are known as power cars. Traditionally, locomotives pull trains from the front. Increasingly common outside North America is push-pull operation, where one locomotive pulls the train from the front and another locomotive pushes it from behind. In this arrangement the locomotive at the rear of the train is controlled from a control cab at the front of the train. Push-pull operation is generally infeasible in North America as, even if mid-train or tail-end "helpers" are provided, the front-end might have over 26,000 horsepower, net for traction, whereas the mid-train and/or tail-end "helpers" might have only 9,000 horsepower, net for traction.

Chambers 20th Century Dictionary

  1. Locomotive

    lō-ko-mō′tiv, adj. moving from place to place: capable of, or assisting in, locomotion.—n. a locomotive machine: a railway engine.—ns. Locomō′tion; Locomotiv′ity; Locomō′tor.—adj. Locomō′tory.—Locomotor ataxy (see Ataxia). [L. locus, a place, movēre, motum, to move.]

Suggested Resources

  1. locomotive

    Song lyrics by locomotive -- Explore a large variety of song lyrics performed by locomotive on the Lyrics.com website.

British National Corpus

  1. Nouns Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'locomotive' in Nouns Frequency: #2726

How to pronounce locomotive?

How to say locomotive in sign language?


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of locomotive in Chaldean Numerology is: 2

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of locomotive in Pythagorean Numerology is: 3

Examples of locomotive in a Sentence

  1. Aldous Huxley:

    To us, the moment 8:17 A.M. means something - something very important, if it happens to be the starting time of our daily train. To our ancestors, such an odd eccentric instant was without significance - did not even exist. In inventing the locomotive, Watt and Stevenson were part inventors of time.

  2. Russ Quimby:

    This has all the earmarks of a track buckle also, sometimes a locomotive, which is heavier, will make it through.

  3. Marc Ostwald:

    There is a lot of concern about the global growth outlook, and as much as people are welcoming better trends in the euro zone, they know it's not going to be a locomotive for growth.

  4. Mohamed El-Erian:

    I am not a buyer...that this is a crash. I think China has the ability to control a soft landing, but China is no longer a locomotive of global growth, and that has implications for companies and it has implications for commodities markets.

  5. Brandon Bostian:

    Unfortunately, the last memory I have on the way back is approaching and passing the platforms in North Philadelphia, the next thing that I remember is when I came to my senses, I was standing up in the locomotive cab after the accident.

Popularity rank by frequency of use


Translations for locomotive

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"locomotive." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2024. Web. 13 Jul 2024. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/locomotive>.

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