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From Middle English traveler, travelour, travailere, travailour (worker", also "traveller), equivalent to travel +‎ -er. Compare Anglo-Norman travailur, travailour, Old French travailleor, travelleeur, travelier.


  • (UK) IPA(key): /ˈtɹævələ/, /ˈtɹævlə/
  • (US) IPA(key): /ˈtɹævəlɚ/, /ˈtɹævl̩ɚ/
  • (file)


traveller (plural travellers)

  1. One who travels, especially to distant lands.
    • 1590, Edmund Spenser, The Faerie Qveene. [], London: Printed [by John Wolfe] for VVilliam Ponsonbie, OCLC 960102938, book II, canto XII, stanza 31, pages 370–371:
      They were faire Ladies, till they fondly ſtriu’d / With th’Heliconian maides for mayſtery; / Of whom they ouer-comen, were depriu’d / Of their proud beautie, and th’one moyity / Transform’d to fiſh, for their bold ſurquedry, / But th’vpper halfe their hew retayned ſtill, / And their ſweet skill in wonted melody; / Which euer after they abuſd to ill, / T’allure weake traueillers, whom gotten they did kill.
    • 1892, James Yoxall, chapter 5, in The Lonely Pyramid:
      The desert storm was riding in its strength; the travellers lay beneath the mastery of the fell simoom. Whirling wreaths and columns of burning wind, rushed around and over them.
  2. (Britain) Someone who lives (particularly in the UK) in a caravan, bus or other vehicle rather than a fixed abode.
  3. (Ireland) Alternative form of Traveller
    • 2010, R. Todd Felton, A Journey Into Ireland's Literary Revival, →ISBN, page 213:
      It provoked criticism for its portrayal of a woman who leaves her marriage for life with a solitary traveler. Irish women did not do those sorts of things, the audiences felt (although the plot came from a story told to Synge on Inis Meain).
    • 2012, Mark Connelly, The IRA on Film and Television: A History, →ISBN, page 212:
      Kevin chases after him through a forest and finds the horse with Joseph Maguire (Ian Holm), a poetry-reciting traveler (Irish gypsy).
    • 2012, Maria Pramaggiore, Irish and African American Cinema, →ISBN, page 152:
      ...settled Irish people of Southern Ireland treat the traveler boys with racist hostility (2001 180–81).
  4. A list and record of instructions that follows a part in a manufacturing process.
  5. (nautical) A metal ring that moves freely on part of a ship’s rigging.
  6. (duplicate bridge) A sheet of paper that is circulated with the board of cards, on which players record their scores.
    • 2008, David Galt, Teach Yourself VISUALLY Bridge, →ISBN, page 263:
      At the conclusion of play, the scores from all the travelers get entered into a computer.
  7. (US, Mississippi Delta) A styrofoam cup filled with liquor and usually ice, to be taken away from a place.
    • 2015: Dispatches from Pluto: Lost and Found in the Mississippi Delta by Richard Grant
      Nowhere else in the world had I seen such gigantic measures of liquor poured, such widespread enthusiasm for Bloodies and Mimosas on weekend mornings, or such firm insistence on giving sixteen-ounce Styrofoam cups loaded with iced liquor to guests leaving a party, so they might have a "traveler" for the drive home.
      At a bar in Yazoo City, the bartender asked me if I wanted to "go tall" with my bourbon on the rocks. I didn't know what he meant, but it sounded encouraging. "Sure," I said, "Let's go tall." He filled up a pint glass with ice. Then he filled it to the brim with bourbon. When I got up to leave with about half the drink gone, he poured the rest of it into a Styrofoam cup, assuming I would want a traveler.


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