Student Dictionary

3 entries found for tandem.
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Main Entry: 1tanĚdem
Pronunciation: primarystresstan-dschwam
Function: noun
Etymology: from Latin tandem "at length, at last"
1 a : a two-seated carriage drawn by horses hitched one behind the other b : TANDEM BICYCLE
2 : a group of two or more arranged one behind the other
Word History Tandem is used to describe many things that involve the connecting of one object to another similar object behind it. A tandem tractor-trailer truck has one trailer hitched behind another, which is attached to the truck body, or tractor. A bicycle built for two is called a tandem bicycle because it has one seat and set of pedals behind another. The first use of the word tandem in English was for a carriage pulled by one horse hitched behind, rather than beside, another. Whoever first used the term in English apparently was making a play on words. The Latin word tandem meant "at length" referring to time, but in English tandem came to mean "at length" or "lengthwise," referring to position.

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