Definitions

wagon

wagon

[wag-uhn]
wagon: see carriage.

Four-wheeled vehicle designed to be drawn by draft animals. Wagons have been used from the 1st century BC; early examples used spoked wheels with metal rims, pivoted front axles, and linchpins to secure the wheels. Ninth-century improvements in suspension made the wagon preferable to the two-wheeled cart, especially for carrying freight and agricultural produce.

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Conestoga wagon

Horse-drawn covered freight wagon. It originated in the 18th century in the Conestoga Creek region of Pennsylvania. It had a flat body and low sides; with its floor curved up at each end to prevent freight from shifting, it was well suited for travel over early American roads. It became famous as later adapted by westward-traveling pioneers for hauling their possessions; with its tall white canvas top, it resembled a sailing ship from a distance, which earned it the name “prairie schooner.”

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A wagon (in British English, sometimes waggon) or dray is a heavy four-wheeled vehicle. Wagons were formerly pulled by animals such as horses, mules or oxen. Today farm wagons are pulled by tractors and trucks. Wagons are used for transportation of people or goods. Wagons are distinguished from carts (which have two wheels), and from lighter four-wheeled vehicles such as carriages. A wagon could be pulled by one animal or by several, often in pairs.

Sometimes, the word wagon is also used for railroad cars (not motorized, for goods or passengers), and the word is a part / the usual short form of station wagon, the non-British term for a sedan (saloon) with an extended rear cargo area. Other names: estate (car) / shooting brake (UK), break (F), station sedan (Aus), Kombi (generally in German, in English also varied to combi), Variant (VW models), Caravan (GM's Opel models), Avant (Audi's wagons), Touring (BMW's wagons).

The word is also sometimes used as a colloquialism for any vehicle, particularly in the British Military.

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