Train - Encyclopedia

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TRAIN (M. Eng. trayn or trayne, derived through Fr. from Late Lat. trahinare, to drag, draw, Lat. trahere, cf. trail, trace, ultimately from the same source), a general term applied to that which is drawn or trailed behind or after anything else, the hind part or rear of anything. It is thus used of the portion of a skirt, robe or cloak which is lengthened behind so that when allowed to fall it trails along the ground. In ceremonial processions and other state functions the duty of keeping raised the train of the sovereign's robes, or of the robes of great officials and dignitaries, is assigned to. pages or to official train-bearers. The length of the train which ladies must wear at royal courts, drawing-rooms or other state functions is fixed by regulations from the lord chamberlain's office. The chief specific uses of the term are for the trail of a gun, that portion of the carriage which rests upon the ground when it is unlimbered, the line of gunpowder or other combustible material which is used to ignite a charge of explosives, and, figuratively, to an ordered series or sequence of events, thoughts, &c. The most familiar application is to a number of carriages, wagons or trucks coupled together and drawn by a locomotive engine on a railway (see Railways). A special use of the verb "to train," in the sense of to educate, to instruct, to bring into fit and proper condition, mental, moral or physical, is developed, as in "educate" (Lat. educare, literally, to draw out), from the sense of drawing or bringing out the good qualities aimed at in a course of instruction; a specific use is that of training for a race or other form of athletics, i.e. getting into fit physical condition.

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