- See under trolley(def 4).
noun, plural trol·leys.
- trolley car.
- a pulley or truck traveling on an overhead track and serving to support and move a suspended object.
- a grooved metallic wheel or pulley carried on the end of a pole (trolley pole) by an electric car or locomotive, and held in contact with an overhead conductor, usually a suspended wire (trolley wire), from which it collects the current for the propulsion of the car or locomotive.
- any of various devices for collecting current for such a purpose, as a pantograph, or a bowlike structure (bow trolley) sliding along an overhead wire, or a device (underground trolley) for taking current from the underground wire or conductor used by some electric railways.
- a small truck or car operated on a track, as in a mine or factory.
- a serving cart, as one used to serve desserts.
- Chiefly British. any of various low carts or vehicles, as a railway handcar or costermonger’s cart.
verb (used with or without object), trol·leyed, trol·ley·ing.
- to convey or go by trolley.
- off one’s trolley, Slang.
- in a confused mental state.
- insane: He’s been off his trolley for years, but his family refuses to have him committed.
- British a small table on casters used for conveying food, drink, etc
- British a wheeled cart or stand pushed by hand and used for moving heavy items, such as shopping in a supermarket or luggage at a railway station
- British (in a hospital) a bed mounted on casters and used for moving patients who are unconscious, immobilized, etc
- British See trolleybus
- US and Canadian See trolley car
- a device that collects the current from an overhead wire (trolley wire), third rail, etc, to drive the motor of an electric vehicle
- a pulley or truck that travels along an overhead wire in order to support a suspended load
- mainly British a low truck running on rails, used in factories, mines, etc, and on railways
- a truck, cage, or basket suspended from an overhead track or cable for carrying loads in a mine, quarry, etc
- off one’s trolley slang
- mentally confused or disorganized
- (tr) to transport (a person or object) on a trolley
n.1823, in Suffolk dialect, “a cart,” especially one with wheels flanged for running on a track (1858), probably from troll (v.) in the sense of “to roll.” Sense transferred to “pulley to convey current to a streetcar motor” (1890), then “streetcar drawing power by a trolley” (1891). see off one’s head (trolley).