AskDefine | Define transport

Dictionary Definition



1 something that serves as a means of transportation [syn: conveyance]
2 an exchange of molecules (and their kinetic energy and momentum) across the boundary between adjacent layers of a fluid or across cell membranes
3 the commercial enterprise of transporting goods and materials [syn: transportation, shipping]
4 a state of being carried away by overwhelming emotion; "listening to sweet music in a perfect rapture"- Charles Dickens [syn: ecstasy, rapture, exaltation, raptus]
5 a mechanism that transport magnetic tape across the read/write heads of a tape playback/recorder [syn: tape drive, tape transport]


1 move something or somebody around; usually over long distances
2 move while supporting, either in a vehicle or in one's hands or on one's body; "You must carry your camping gear"; "carry the suitcases to the car"; "This train is carrying nuclear waste"; "These pipes carry waste water into the river" [syn: carry]
3 hold spellbound [syn: enchant, enrapture, enthrall, ravish, enthral, delight] [ant: disenchant]
4 transport commercially [syn: send, ship]
5 send from one person or place to another; "transmit a message" [syn: transmit, transfer, channel, channelize, channelise]

User Contributed Dictionary



  • Verb:
    • (UK) /trænzˈpɔːt/ or /trɑːnzˈpɔːt/
    • (UK) /tr

Extensive Definition

Transport or transportation is the movement of people and goods from one place to another. The term is derived from the Latin trans ("across") and portare ("to carry"). Industries which have the business of providing transport equipment, transport services or transport are important in most national economies, and are referred to as transport industries.

Aspects of transport

The field of transport has several aspects: loosely they can be divided into infrastructure, vehicles, and operations. Infrastructure includes the transport networks (roads, railways, airways, waterways, canals, pipelines, etc.) that are used, as well as the nodes or terminals (such as airports, railway stations, bus stations and seaports). Vehicles travelling on the networks will include automobiles, bicycles, buses, trains and aircraft. The operations deal with the way the vehicles are operated on the network and the procedures set for this purpose including the legal environment (Laws, Codes, Regulations, etc.) Policies, such as how to finance the system (for example, the use of tolls or gasoline taxes) may be considered part of the operations.

Modes and categories

Modes are combinations of networks, vehicles, and operations, and include walking, the road transport system, rail transport, ship transport and modern aviation.

Animal-powered transport

Animal-powered transport is the use of working animals (also known as "beasts of burden") for the movement of people and goods. Humans may ride some of the animals directly, use them as pack animals for carrying goods, or harness them, singly or in teams, to pull (or haul) sleds or wheeled vehicles.

Air transport

A fixed-wing aircraft, commonly called airplane or aeroplane, is a heavier-than-air craft where movement of the wings in relation to the aircraft is not used to generate lift. The term is used to distinguish from rotary-wing aircraft, where the movement of the lift surfaces relative to the aircraft generates lift. A heliplane is both fixed-wing and rotary-wing.
Two necessities for aircraft are air flow over the wings for lift, and an area for landing. The majority of aircraft also need an airport with the infrastructure to receive maintenance, restocking, refueling and for the loading and unloading of crew, cargo and passengers. While the vast majority of aircraft land and take off on land, some are capable of take off and landing on ice, snow and calm water.
The aircraft is the second fastest method of transport, after the rocket. Commercial jet aircraft can reach up to 875 km/h. Single-engine aircraft are capable of reaching 175 km/h or more at cruise speed. Supersonic aircraft (military, research and a few private aircraft) can reach speeds faster than sound. The record is held by the SR-71 with a speed of 3,529.56 km/h (2193.17 mph, 1905.81 knots).


Rail transport is the transport of passengers and goods along railways or railroads. A typical railway (or railroad) track consists of two parallel steel (or in older networks, iron) rails, generally anchored perpendicular to beams (termed sleepers or ties) of timber, concrete, or steel to maintain a consistent distance apart, or gauge. The rails and perpendicular beams are usually then placed on a foundation made of concrete or compressed earth and gravel in a bed of ballast to prevent the track from buckling (bending out of its original configuration) as the ground settles over time beneath and under the weight of the vehicles passing above. The vehicles traveling on the rails are arranged in a train; a series of individual powered or unpowered vehicles linked together, displaying markers. These vehicles (referred to, in general, as cars, carriages or wagons) move with much less friction than on rubber tires on a paved road, and the locomotive that pulls the train tends to use energy far more efficiently as a result.
In rail transport, a train consists of rail vehicles that move along guides to transport freight or passengers from one place to another. The guideway (permanent way) usually consists of conventional rail tracks, but might also be monorail or maglev. Propulsion for the train is provided by a separate locomotive, or from individual motors in self-propelled multiple units. Most trains are powered by diesel engines or by electricity supplied by trackside systems. Historically the steam engine was the dominant form of locomotive power through the mid-20th century, but other sources of power (such as horses, rope (or wire), gravity, pneumatics, or gas turbines) are possible.

Road transport

An automobile is a wheeled passenger vehicle that carries its own motor. Different types of automobiles include cars, buses, trucks, and vans. Some include motorcycles in the category, but cars are the most typical automobiles. As of 2002 there were 590 million passenger cars worldwide (roughly one car for every ten people), of which 170 million in the U.S. (roughly one car for every two people)
The automobile was thought of as an environmental improvement over horses when it was first introduced in the 1890s. Before its introduction, in New York City alone, more than 1,800 tons of manure had to be removed from the streets daily, although the manure was used as natural fertilizer for crops and to build top soil. In 2006, the automobile is recognized as one of the primary sources of world-wide air pollution and a cause of substantial noise pollution and adverse health effects.

Water transport


A watercraft is a vehicle designed to float on and move across (or under) water. The need for buoyancy unites watercraft, and makes the hull a dominant aspect of its construction, maintenance, and appearance.
Most watercraft would be described as either ships or boats; although nearly all ships are larger than nearly all boats, the distinction between those two categories is not one of size per se.
  • A rule of thumb says "a boat can fit on a ship, but a ship can't fit on a boat", and a ship usually has sufficient size to carry its own boats, such as lifeboats, dinghies, or runabouts.
  • Often local law and regulation will define the exact size (or the number of masts) that distinguishes a ship from boats.
  • Traditionally submarines, being small, were called "boats"; in contrast, nuclear-powered submarines' are large, much roomier, and classed as ships.
Another definition says a ship is any floating craft that transports cargo for the purpose of earning revenue; in that context, passenger ships transport "supercargo", another name for passengers or persons not working on board. However, neither fishing boats nor ferries are considered ships, though both carry cargo (their catch of the day or passengers) and lifeboats.
English seldom uses the term watercraft to describe any specific individual object (and probably then only as an affectation): rather the term serves to unify the category that ranges from small boats to the largest ships, and also includes the diverse watercraft for which some term even more specific than ship or boat (e.g., canoe, kayak, raft, barge, jet ski) comes to mind first. (Some of these would even be considered at best questionable as examples of boats.)

Ship transport

Ship transport is the process of moving people, goods, etc. by barge, boat, ship or sailboat over a sea, ocean, lake, canal or river. This is frequently undertaken for purposes of commerce, recreation or military objectives.
A hybrid of ship transport and road transport is the historic horse-drawn boat. Hybrids of ship transport and air transport are kite surfing and parasailing.
The first craft were probably types of canoes cut out from tree trunks. The colonization of Australia by Indigenous Australians provides indirect but conclusive evidence for the latest date for the invention of ocean-going craft; land bridges linked southeast Asia through most of the Malay Archipelago but a strait had to be crossed to arrive at New Guinea, which was then linked to Australia. Ocean-going craft were required for the colonization to happen.
Early sea transport was accomplished with ships that were either rowed or used the wind for propulsion, and often, in earlier times with smaller vessels, a combination of the two.
Also there have been horse-powered boats, with horses on the deck providing power
Ship transport was frequently used as a mechanism for conducting warfare. Military use of the seas and waterways is covered in greater detail under navy.
In the 1800s the first steam ships were developed, using a steam engine to drive a paddle wheel or propeller to move the ship. The steam was produced using wood or coal. Now most ships have an engine using a slightly refined type of petroleum called bunker fuel. Some specialized ships, such as submarines, use nuclear power to produce the steam.
Recreational or educational craft still use wind power, while some smaller craft use internal combustion engines to drive one or more propellers, or in the case of jet boats, an inboard water jet. In shallow draft areas, such as the Everglades, some craft, such as the hovercraft, are propelled by large pusher-prop fans.
Although relatively slow, modern sea transport is a highly effective method of transporting large quantities of non-perishable goods. Transport by water is significantly less costly than transport by air for trans-continental shipping.
In the context of sea transport, a road is an anchorage.

Intermodal transport

Intermodal freight transport refers to the combination of multiple types of transportation for a single shipment, for instance a shipment in a container may start on a truck in China, travel in a cargo ship over the Pacific Ocean to a port city in the U.S., then travel by train to the East Coast, finally being delivered by a truck.

Transport and communications

Transport and communication are both substitutes and complements. Though it might be possible that sufficiently advanced communication could substitute for transport, one could telegraph, telephone, fax, or email a customer rather than visiting them in person, it has been found that those modes of communication in fact generate more total interactions, including interpersonal interactions. The growth in transport would be impossible without communication, which is vital for advanced transportation systems, from railroads which want to run trains in two directions on a single track, to air traffic control which requires knowing the location of aircraft in the sky. Thus, it has been found that the increase of one generally leads to more of the other.

Transport and land use

The first Europeans who came to the New World brought with them a culture of transportation centred on the wheel. North America's Aboriginal peoples had developed differently, and moved through their country by means of canoes, kayaks, umiaks, coracles, and other water-borne vehicles, constructed from various types of bark, hide, bone, wood, and other materials; as well, the snowshoe, toboggan and sled were essential during the winter conditions that prevailed throughout the northern half of the continent for much of the year. Europeans quickly adopted all of these technologies themselves, and therefore were able to travel to the northern interior of Canada via the many waterways that branched out from the St. Lawrence River and from Hudson Bay.
There is a well-known relationship between the density of development, and types of transportation. Intensity of development is often measured by area of floor area ratio (FAR), the ratio of usable floorspace to area of land. As a rule of thumb, FARs of 1.5 or less are well suited to automobiles, those of six and above are well suited to trains. The range of densities from about two up to about four is not well served by conventional public or private transport. Many cities have grown into these densities, and are suffering traffic problems.
Land uses support activities. Those activities are spatially separated. People need transport to go from one to the other (from home to work to shop back to home for instance). Transport is a "derived demand," in that transport is unnecessary but for the activities pursued at the ends of trips. Good land use keeps common activities close (e.g. housing and food shopping), and places higher-density development closer to transportation lines and hubs. Poor land use concentrates activities (such as jobs) far from other destinations (such as housing and shopping).
There are economies of agglomeration. Beyond transportation some land uses are more efficient when clustered. Transportation facilities consume land, and in cities, pavement (devoted to streets and parking) can easily exceed 20 percent of the total land use. An efficient transport system can reduce land waste.

Transport in cities

Because of the much higher densities of people and activities, environmental, economic, public health, social and quality of life considerations and constraints are important in cities.
Urban transport has been led by professional transport planners and traffic experts, who have made use of the same forecasting and response tools that they have used to good effect in other transport sectors. This has led in most cities to a substantial overbuilding of the road and supporting infrastructure, which has maximized throughput in terms of the numbers of vehicles and the speeds with which they pass through and move around in the built-up areas.
Too much infrastructure and too much smoothing for maximum vehicle throughput means that in many cities there is too much traffic and many - if not all - of the negative impacts that come with it. It is only in recent years that traditional practices have started to be questioned in many places, and as a result of new types of analysis which bring in a much broader range of skills than those traditionally relied on – spanning such areas as environmental impact analysis, public health, sociologists as well as economists who increasingly are questioning the viability of the old mobility solutions. European cities are leading this transition.

Transport, energy, and the environment

Transport is a major use of energy, and transport burns most of the world's petroleum. Transportation accounts for 2/3 of all U.S. petroleum consumption.
The transportation sector generates 82 percent of carbon monoxide and 56 percent of NOx emissions and over one-quarter of total greenhouse gas emissions in the U.S.A. a greenhouse gas widely thought to be the chief cause of global climate change, and petroleum-powered engines, especially inefficient ones, create air pollution, including nitrous oxides and particulates (soot). Although vehicles in developed countries have been getting cleaner because of environmental regulations, this has been offset by an increase in the number of vehicles and more use of each vehicle.
Indeed, transportation has the fastest growing carbon emissions of any economic sector.
Speaking at the International Transport Forum in Leipzig, Germany UNFCCC Executive Secretary Yvo de Boer on Thursday called on key stakeholders in the transport sector to help shape the UN climate change deal that will be clinched in Copenhagen at the end of 2009.
By subsector, road transport is the largest contributor to global warming.


Transport research facilities are mainly attached to universities or are steered by the state. In most countries (not in France and Spain) one can see now how laboratories are brought into PPP-operation, where industry takes over part of the share.
The European Commission supports the co-operation and collaboration amongst the transport laboratories by funding projects like Transport Research Knowledge Centre (TRKC)and Intransnet. Especially the transition from planned economy to achieving a stable position on the market will be a challenge for laboratories in the new member states. Another EU-project etra.ccis coping with those problems.
The European Local Transport Information Service, Eltis, keeps track of up-to-date urban transport news and events, transport measures, policies and practices implemented in cities and regions across Europe (and some world-wide initiatives). It includes a database that collects good practice case studies in order to share experiences and knowledge on sustainable urban transport.


External links

transport in Afrikaans: Vervoer
transport in Arabic: نقل
transport in Aragonese: Tresporte
transport in Bambara: Dònìni
transport in Bengali: পরিবহন
transport in Banyumasan: Angkutan
transport in Bosnian: Saobraćaj
transport in Breton: Treuzdougerezh
transport in Bulgarian: Транспорт
transport in Catalan: Transport
transport in Chuvash: Çул-йĕр
transport in Czech: Doprava
transport in Danish: Transport
transport in German: Verkehr
transport in Estonian: Transport
transport in Spanish: Transporte
transport in Esperanto: Transporto
transport in Persian: ترابری
transport in French: Transport
transport in Western Frisian: Transport
transport in Friulian: Traspuart
transport in Irish: Iompar
transport in Manx: Ymmyrkey
transport in Galician: Transporte
transport in Korean: 교통
transport in Armenian: Տրանսպորտ
transport in Croatian: Promet
transport in Indonesian: Transportasi
transport in Interlingua (International Auxiliary Language Association): Transporto
transport in Inuktitut: ᐃᖏᕐᕋᔾᔪᑎᑦ/ingirrajjutit
transport in Ossetian: Транспорт
transport in Icelandic: Samgöngur
transport in Italian: Trasporti
transport in Hebrew: תחבורה
transport in Georgian: ტრანსპორტი
transport in Kirghiz: Транспорт
transport in Swahili (macrolanguage): Usafiri
transport in Haitian: Transpò
transport in Ladino: Transporte
transport in Latvian: Transports
transport in Luxembourgish: Transport
transport in Lithuanian: Transportas
transport in Hungarian: Közlekedéstudomány
transport in Macedonian: Транспорт
transport in Malay (macrolanguage): Kenderaan
transport in Dutch: Transport
transport in Japanese: 交通
transport in Neapolitan: Traspuorte
transport in Norwegian: Transport
transport in Norwegian Nynorsk: Transport
transport in Narom: Transport
transport in Occitan (post 1500): Transpòrt
transport in Polish: Transport
transport in Portuguese: Transporte
transport in Romanian: Transport
transport in Russian: Транспорт
transport in Sanskrit: परिवहन
transport in Sardinian: Trasportu
transport in Scots: Transport
transport in Sicilian: Trasporti
transport in Simple English: Transport
transport in Slovak: Doprava
transport in Slovenian: Transport
transport in Serbian: Транспорт
transport in Serbo-Croatian: Transport
transport in Sundanese: Angkutan
transport in Finnish: Liikenne
transport in Swedish: Transport
transport in Tagalog: Transportasyon
transport in Tamil: போக்குவரத்து
transport in Thai: การขนส่ง
transport in Turkish: Ulaşım
transport in Ukrainian: Транспорт
transport in Venetian: Trasporti
transport in Võro: Transport
transport in Waray (Philippines): Panakayan
transport in Yiddish: טראנספארט
transport in Samogitian: Transpuorts
transport in Chinese: 交通运输

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

Elysium, abandon, agitate, air express, airfreight, airlift, ardor, asportation, ban, banish, bear, bearing, beatification, beatitude, becharm, beguile, bewitch, bewitchment, blackball, blessedness, bliss, blissfulness, bring, buck, captivate, carriage, carrier, carry, carry away, carrying, cartage, cast a spell, cast out, charm, cheer, cheerfulness, cloud nine, conduct, convey, conveyance, craze, cut, delectate, delectation, delight, delirium, deliver, deport, disfellowship, displace, drayage, ecstasy, ecstatics, elation, electrify, elevate, enchant, enchantment, enrapture, enravish, enthrall, enthusiasm, entrance, euphoria, exaltation, excite, exclude, excommunicate, exhilaration, exile, expatriate, expel, expressage, extradite, exuberance, exultation, fascinate, felicity, ferriage, ferry, fervor, fetch, fire and fury, fly, forward, freak out, freight, freightage, frenzy, fugitate, furor, furore, fury, gaiety, get, gladness, glee, happiness, haul, haulage, hauling, heaven, high spirits, hump, hypnotize, hysteria, imparadise, infatuate, inflame, intoxication, intrigue, joy, joyance, joyfulness, knock dead, knock out, lift, lighterage, lug, lugging, madness, manhandle, mesmerize, move, moving, orgasm, orgy, ostracize, outlaw, overhappiness, overjoyfulness, pack, packing, paradise, passion, portage, porterage, proscribe, provoke, quicken, rage, railway express, rapture, ravish, ravishment, relegate, remove, rhapsody, rusticate, send, send away, send down, send to Coventry, seventh heaven, ship, shipment, shipping, slay, snub, spell, spellbind, spurn, stimulate, stir up, sunshine, take, tearing passion, telpherage, thrill, thrust out, tickle, tickle pink, titillate, tote, toting, towering rage, trance, transfer, transferral, transit, transmit, transportation, transporting, transshipment, truckage, unalloyed happiness, uplift, vamp, waft, waftage, wagonage, whisk, wing, witch, wow
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