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  • IPA(key): /ˈtɹeɪ.lɪŋ/
  • (file)


trailing (not comparable)

  1. (rail transport, of points and crossovers) That converges in the direction of travel.
  2. That follows behind; especially, that is attached and pulled behind.
    the trailing railcars
    the trailing comments
    no trailing whitespace characters
    • 1961 February, “New English Electric diesels for East Africa”, in Trains Illustrated, pages 90–91:
      On the long, continuous downgrades of East Africa dynamic braking is of special value; the traction motors are used as generators and their energy output dissipated in force-ventilated banks of resistors. This facility enables a 700-ton trailing load, for example, to be brought down a 1 in 66 gradient at any selected speed between 14 and 25 m.p.h. without use of the air brakes.
    • 2022 November 16, Paul Bigland, “From rural branches to high-speed arteries”, in RAIL, number 970, page 55:
      Having reversed at Eastbourne, I am in the trailing car, which leaps and fishtails around so much on our way to Bexhill that I have trouble writing coherent notes.


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  1. present participle and gerund of trail


trailing (plural trailings)

  1. Fabric or other material that trails.
    • 1901, Mary E. Wilkins, The Portion of Labor:
      [] their roots, projecting in fibrous sprawls from their trunks, were their feet, and she pictured them advancing with wide trailings, and rustlings as of green draperies []
    • 2010, Regina S. Baraban, Joseph F. Durocher, Successful Restaurant Design:
      All too often, the spout of a soap dispenser rests over the counter and leaves trailings of soap that must be wiped up frequently if a clean appearance is to be maintained.

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