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A truck (motor vehicle).
A hand truck.
An old mining truck.


Etymology 1[edit]

From Middle English truken, troken, trukien, from Old English trucian (to fail, run short, deceive, disappoint), from Proto-Germanic *trukōną (to fail, miss, lack), from Proto-Indo-European *dereu-, *derwu- (to tear, wrap, reap), from Proto-Indo-European *der- (to flay, split). Cognate with Middle Low German troggelen (to cheat, deceive, swindle), Dutch troggelen (to extort), German dialectal truggeln (to flatter, fawn).

Alternative forms[edit]


truck (third-person singular simple present trucks, present participle trucking, simple past and past participle trucked)

  1. (intransitive, now chiefly dialectal) To fail; run out; run short; be unavailable; diminish; abate.
  2. (intransitive, now chiefly dialectal) To give in; give way; knuckle under; truckle.
  3. (intransitive, now chiefly dialectal) To deceive; cheat; defraud.
Derived terms[edit]
Related terms[edit]

Etymology 2[edit]

Perhaps a shortening of truckle, related to Latin trochus (iron hoop, wheel).


truck (countable and uncountable, plural trucks)

  1. A small wheel or roller, specifically the wheel of a gun-carriage.
    • 1843, James Fenimore Cooper, Wyandotte, Chapter 3
      "Put that cannon up once, and I'll answer for it that no Injin faces it. 'Twill be as good as a dozen sentinels," answered Joel. "As for mountin', I thought of that before I said a syllable about the crittur. There's the new truck-wheels in the court, all ready to hold it, and the carpenters can put the hinder part to the whull, in an hour or two."
  2. The ball on top of a flagpole.
  3. (nautical) On a wooden mast, a circular disc (or sometimes a rectangle) of wood near or at the top of the mast, usually with holes or sheaves to reeve signal halyards; also a temporary or emergency place for a lookout. "Main" refers to the mainmast, whereas a truck on another mast may be called (on the mizzenmast, for example) "mizzen-truck".
    • 1851 Melville, Herman Moby Dick, Chapter 9.
      But oh! shipmates! on the starboard hand of every woe, there is a sure delight; and higher the top of that delight, than the bottom of the woe is deep. Is not the main-truck higher than the kelson is low?
  4. (countable, uncountable, US, Australia) A semi-tractor ("semi") trailer; (UK) a lorry.
    Mexican open-bed trucks haul most of the fresh produce that comes into the United States from Mexico.
    • 1922, Sinclair Lewis, Babbit, Chapter 1
      A line of fifty trucks from the Zenith Steel and Machinery Company was attacked by strikers-rushing out from the sidewalk, pulling drivers from the seats, smashing carburetors and commutators, while telephone girls cheered from the walk, and small boys heaved bricks.
    • 2009, James Beach, Peterbilt: Long-Haul Legend[1], page 48:
      That's why driving truck became more than a job for many in the industry. Driving truck was a lifestyle.
  5. Any motor vehicle designed for carrying cargo, including delivery vans, pickups, and other motorized vehicles (including passenger autos) fitted with a bed designed to carry goods.
  6. A garden cart, a two-wheeled wheelbarrow.
  7. A small wagon or cart, of various designs, pushed or pulled by hand or (obsolete) pulled by an animal, as with those in hotels for moving luggage, or in libraries for transporting books.
    • Macaulay
      Goods were conveyed about the town almost exclusively in trucks drawn by dogs.
    • 1906, Upton Sinclair, The Jungle, Chapter 3
      From the doors of these rooms went men with loaded trucks, to the platform where freight cars were waiting to be filled; and one went out there and realized with a start that he had come at last to the ground floor of this enormous building.
  8. A pantechnicon (removal van).
  9. (UK, rail transport) A flatbed railway car.
  10. A pivoting frame, one attached to the bottom of the bed of a railway car at each end, that rests on the axle and which swivels to allow the axle (at each end of which is a solid wheel) to turn with curves in the track. The axle on many types of railway car is not attached to the truck and relies on gravity to remain within the truck's brackets (on the truck's base) that hold the axle in place
    • 1913, D.H. Lawrence, Sons and Lovers
      Far away he could hear the sharp clinking of the trucks on the railway. No, it was not they that were far away. They were there in their places. But where was he himself?.
  11. The part of a skateboard or roller skate that joins the wheels to the deck, consisting of a hanger, baseplate, kingpin, and bushings, and sometimes mounted with a riser in between.
  12. (theater) A platform with wheels or casters.
  13. Dirt or other messiness.
    • Aunt Polly looked at the jam on Huck's face, and said, "What is that truck?" - Mark Twain, Huckleberry Finn
Derived terms[edit]
See also[edit]


truck (third-person singular simple present trucks, present participle trucking, simple past and past participle trucked)

  1. (intransitive) To drive a truck.
  2. (transitive) To convey by truck.
  3. (intransitive, US, slang, 1960s) To travel or live contentedly.
    Keep on trucking!
  4. (intransitive, US, slang, 1960s) To persist, to endure.
    Keep on trucking!
  5. (intransitive, film production) To move a camera parallel to the movement of the subject.
  6. (transitive, slang) To run over or through a tackler in American football.
Derived terms[edit]

Etymology 3[edit]

From dialectal truck, truk, trokk, probably of North Germanic origin, compare Norwegian dialectal trokka, trakka (to stamp, trample, go to and fro), Danish trykke (to press, press down, crush, squeeze). More at thrutch.


truck (third-person singular simple present trucks, present participle trucking, simple past and past participle trucked)

  1. (transitive, UK dialectal, Scotland) To tread (down); stamp on; trample (down).

Etymology 4[edit]

Middle English trukien, from unrecorded Anglo-Norman and Old French words (attested in mediaeval Latin trocare, present Spanish trocar), of Unknown origin.


truck (third-person singular simple present trucks, present participle trucking, simple past and past participle trucked)

  1. (transitive) To trade, exchange; barter.
    • John Stuart Mill
      We will begin by supposing the international trade to be in form, what it always is in reality, an actual trucking of one commodity against another.
  2. (intransitive) To engage in commerce; to barter or deal.
    • 1624, John Smith, Generall Historie, edition Kupperman 1988:
      But while this businesse was in hand, Arrived one Captaine Argall, and Master Thomas Sedan, sent by Master Cornelius to truck with the Collony [...]
  3. (intransitive) To have dealings or social relationships with; to engage with.


truck (plural trucks)

  1. (obsolete, often used in plural sense) Small, humble items; things, often for sale or barter.
    • 1884, Mark Twain, chapter 20, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn[2]:
      There was sheds made out of poles and roofed over with branches, where they had lemonade and gingerbread to sell, and piles of watermelons and green corn and such-like truck.
    • 1911, Edna Ferber, chapter 5, Dawn O'Hara, the Girl who Laughed[3]:
      It happened in this way, on a day when I was indulging in a particularly greenery-yallery fit of gloom. Norah rushed into my room. I think I was mooning over some old papers, or letters, or ribbons, or some such truck in the charming, knife-turning way that women have when they are blue.
  2. (US) Garden produce, groceries (see truck garden).
    • 1923, Edgar Rice Burroughs, chapter 10, The Moon Maid[4]:
      I obtained my first view of a lunar city. It was built around a crater, and the buildings were terraced back from the rim, the terraces being generally devoted to the raising of garden truck and the principal fruit-bearing trees and shrubs.
  3. (usually with negative) Social intercourse; dealings, relationships.
    • 1890, Arthur Conan Doyle, The Sign of the Four[5]:
      'How can I decide?' said I. 'You have not told me what you want of me. But I tell you now that if it is anything against the safety of the fort I will have no truck with it, so you can drive home your knife and welcome.'
Derived terms[edit]


truck (not comparable)

  1. Pertaining to a garden patch or truck garden.
    • 1792 November 4, George Washington, [6], quoted in The writings of George Washington from the original manuscript sources: Volume 32, 1745-1799.:
      As the home house people (the industrious part of them at least) might want ground for their truck patches, they might, for this purpose, cultivate what would be cleared. But I would have the ground from the cross fence by the Spring, quite round by the Wharf, first grubbed, before the (above mentioned) is attempted.
    • 1903, Joel Chandler Harris, chapter 11, "Brother Rabbit's Cradle", New Stories of the Old Plantation[7]:
      "Wid dat, Brer Rabbit 'low dat Mr. Man done been had 'im hired fer ter take keer er his truck patch, an' keep out de minks, de mush-rats an' de weasels.
Usage notes[edit]

For this etymology, the word is virtually obsolete. It really only survives as a fossil in the construction “to have no truck with”. In the US, the derived term truck garden is often confused with Etymology 1, in the sense "produce raised to be trucked to market.



From English.


truck c

  1. truck