Student Dictionary

4 entries found for travel.
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Main Entry: 1trav·el
Pronunciation: primarystresstrav-schwal
Function: verb
Inflected Form(s): -eled or -elled; -el·ing or trav·el·ling /-(schwa-)lieng/
Etymology: Middle English travailen "torment, labor, strive, journey," from early French travailler "torment, labor," from an unrecorded Latin verb tripaliare "to torture," from Latin tripalium "an instrument of torture," literally "three stakes," derived from tri- "three" and palus "stake, pale" --related to 3PALE, TRAVAIL
1 : to journey from place to place or to a distant place
2 : to move or advance from one place to another <the news traveled fast>
Word History With our modern cars, ships, and airplanes and our many restaurants and hotels, travel today is not difficult. But in the Middle Ages roads were poor and places to eat and sleep were far apart. Travel was hard, uncomfortable work -- even torture. In fact, our word travel comes from a Latin word that meant "torture." Many devices were used in the Middle Ages for torture in an effort to force confessions from persons accused of crimes. One of these devices, called in Latin a tripalium, gave us our word travel. The word tripalium, literally "three stakes," was derived from Latin tri-, meaning "three" and palus, meaning "stake, pale." This word is thought to have been the source of the Latin verb tripaliare, meaning "to torture." In early French the word became travailler, with both the meaning "to torment" and the meaning "to work hard." This early French word was taken into Middle English as travailen, with the meaning "to work hard" and "to travel." In time these two meanings became separated into different words, travail, which means "hard work," and travel, which means "to go on a trip."

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