From a variation of trendle, trindle. More at trindle.


  • IPA(key): /ˈtɹʌndəl/
  • (file)
  • Rhymes: -ʌndəl


trundle (plural trundles)

  1. A low bed on wheels that can be rolled underneath another bed.
    Synonyms: trundle bed, truckle bed
    • 1975, Saul Bellow, Humboldt's Gift [Avon ed., 1976, pl. 115]:
      "When he comes back will be turned out."
      "But I always knew it was a one-year job."
      "Oh you don't mind being like a rented article from Hertz's, like a trundle bed or a baby's potty?"
  2. (obsolete) A low wagon or cart on small wheels, used to transport things.
    • 1670, John Evelyn, Sylva, or, A Discourse of Forest-Trees, London, Chapter 3, p. 21,[2]
      [] you may [] place the whole weighty Clod upon a Trundle to be convey’d, and Replanted where you please,
    • 1676, Moses Cook, The Manner of Raising, Ordering, and Improving Forrest-Trees, London: Peter Parker, Chapter 10, p. 46,[3]
      [] in case the Tree be very great [] you must then have a Gin or Crane, such a one as they have to Load Timber with; and by that you may weigh it out of its place, and place the whole upon a Trundle or Sledge, to convey it to the place you desire; and by the afore-said Engine you may take it off from the Trundle, and set it in its hole at your pleasure.
  3. (obsolete) A small wheel or roller.[1]
  4. A motion as of something moving upon little wheels or rollers; a rolling motion.
    • 2011, Alan Hollinghurst, The Stranger’s Child, New York: Knopf, Part 3, Chapter 6, p. 276,[4]
      There was something expert and even vicious in the flick of Paul’s arm and the hard momentary trundle of the [cricket] ball along the curving rails.
  5. The sound made by an object being moved on wheels.
    • 1943, Graham Greene, The Ministry of Fear, London: Heinemann, Book 2, Chapter 1, section 5, p. 143,[5]
      [] an old man who could always be located from far away by the sound of a scythe or the trundle of a wheelbarrow.
    • 2019, Robert Harris, The Second Sleep, London: Hutchinson, Chapter 3,
      He could hear the trundle of cart wheels.
  6. (engineering) A lantern wheel, or one of its bars.
    • 1651, Cressy Dymock, An Invention of Engines in Motion, London: Richard Woodnoth, p. 5,[6]
      The Cog-wheels in most Wind-Mills are (in the diameter) 8. foot or under [] the trundle is at the least two foot, which is 4. to one.
  7. (heraldry) A spool of golden thread.

Derived termsEdit



trundle (third-person singular simple present trundles, present participle trundling, simple past and past participle trundled)

  1. (transitive) To wheel or roll (an object on wheels), especially by pushing, often slowly or heavily.
    Every morning, the vendors trundle their carts out into the market.
    to trundle a bed or a gun carriage
    • 1995, Val McDermid, The Mermaids Singing, New York: HarperPaperbacks, 1997, p. 55,[7]
      When the bin men come down the back alley to trundle our wheelie bins to their truck, the dog becomes hysterical []
  2. To transport (something or someone) using an object on wheels, especially one that is pushed.
    • 1637, John Bastwick, The Answer of John Bastwick, Doctor of Phisicke, to the Exceptions Made against His Letany [] which is annexed to the Letany it selfe, Leiden, Letany, Part 2,[8]
      [] they are attended like the Lords and Princes of the earth, with mighty retinues, and are carryed in coaches with foure or six horses a peece in them, when a wheele barrow such as they trundle white wine vineger about the towne were a great deale fitter for them []
    • 1761, George Colman, The Genius, No. 5, 6 August, 1761, in Prose on Several Occasions, London: T. Cadel, 1787, pp. 57-58,[9]
      The reading female hires her novels from some country circulating library, which consists of about an hundred volumes, or, is trundled from the next market town in a wheelbarrow;
    • 1918, Willa Cather, My Ántonia, Boston: Houghton Mifflin, Book 1, Chapter 5, p. 39,[10]
      [] Peter trundled a load of watermelons up the hill in his wheelbarrow.
    • 1997, J. M. Coetzee, Boyhood: Scenes from Provincial Life, London: Secker & Warburg, Chapter 11, p. 91,[11]
      The kraal walls are two feet thick and higher than his head; they are made of flat blue-grey stones, every one of them trundled here by donkey-cart.
  3. (intransitive) To move heavily (on wheels).
    • 1662, John Birkenhead, The Assembly-Man, London: Richard Marriot, p. 14,[12]
      [] he can glibly run over Non-sense, as an empty Cart trundles down a Hill.
    • 1987, Toni Morrison, Beloved, New York: Vintage, 2004, p. 25,
      Suddenly from around a bend a wagon trundled toward him.
  4. (transitive) To move (something or someone), often heavily or clumsily.
    • 1773, Oliver Goldsmith, She Stoops to Conquer, London: F. Newbery, Act II, p. 45,[13]
      I’ll clap a pair of horses to your chaise that shall trundle you off in a twinkling,
    • 1928, W. B. Yeats, “Meditations in Time of Civil War,” 6. “The Stare’s Nest by My Window,” in The Tower, London: Macmillan, p. 27,[14]
      Last night they trundled down the road
      That dead young soldier in his blood:
  5. (intransitive) To move, often heavily or clumsily.
    • 1700, [William] Congreve, The Way of the World, a Comedy. [], London: [] Jacob Tonson, [], OCLC 228728146, Act I, scene ix, page 13:
      Betty. They are gone Sir, in great Anger. / Pet[ulant]. Enough, let 'em trundle. Anger helps Complexion, ſaves Paint.
    • 1957, D. H. Lawrence, Etruscan Places, New York: Viking, Chapter 3, part 1, p. 64,[15]
      [] we set off again, the dog trundling apathetic at his master’s heels,
    • 1977, Diana Wynne Jones, Charmed Life:
      she let the marmalade stay where it was, trundling in blobs down her plump cheeks
  6. (transitive) To cause (something) to roll or revolve; to roll (something) along.
    Synonym: roll
    to trundle a hoop or a ball
    • 1565, Andrew Boorde, Merie Tales of the Made Men of Gotam, London: Thomas Colwell, Tale 3,[16]
      He layde downe hys poake, and tooke the cheeses, and dyd trundle them downe the hyll one after another:
    • 1648, Robert Herrick, “Stool-ball” in Hesperides, London: John Williams and Francis Eglesfield, p. 280,[17]
      If thou, my Deere, a winner be
      At trundling of the Ball,
      The wager thou shalt have, and me,
      And my misfortunes all.
    • 1784, John O’Keeffe, The Poor Soldier, Dublin, Act II, Scene 5, p. 27,[18]
      At gaming, perhaps, I may win;
      With cards I may take the flats in,
      Or trundle false dice, and they’re nick’d:
    • 1798, Samuel Taylor Coleridge, Fears in Solitude, London: J. Johnson, p. 6,[19]
      [] all our dainty terms for fratricide,
      Terms which we trundle smoothly o’er our tongues
      Like mere abstractions,
    • 1818, John Keats, letter to Fanny Keats dated 4 July, 1818, in Sidney Colvin (ed.), Letters of John Keats to His Family and Friends, London: Macmillan, 1891, p. 122,[20]
      [I am] so fatigued that when I am asleep you might sew my nose to my great toe and trundle me round the town like a Hoop without waking me.
  7. (intransitive) To roll or revolve; to roll along.
    Synonym: roll
    • 1542, Robert Burdet, A Dyalogue Defensyve for Women, London: Rycharde Banckes, “The Fawcon,”[21]
      At Chrystes death, whan the Apostles all
      Theyr mayster dyd leaue, throughe mutabylytie
      Men were founde lyght, and trundlynge as a ball
      In them was no fayth, but infydelytye
    • 1653, Margaret Cavendish, “The Agilenesse of Water” in Poems, and Fancies, London: J. Martin and J. Allestrye, p. 28,[22]
      Water is apt to move, being round like Balls,
      No points to fixe, doth trundle as it falls.

Derived termsEdit



  1. ^ Samuel Johnson, A Dictionary of the English Language, London: W. Strahan, 1755: “TRUNDLE. [] Any round rolling thing.”[1]
  • "trundle." WordNet® 3.0. Princeton University. 15 Jun. 2007.
  • "trundle." Kernerman English Multilingual Dictionary. K Dictionaries Ltd. 15 Jun. 2007.