Printable Version
Pronunciation: en-trayn Hear it!

Part of Speech: Verb, transitive

Meaning: To pull or drag along after itself, to carry along, to entail.

Notes: This word is not to be confused with the verb entrain meaning "to board a train". That word is derived from train, the means of transportation. Today's Good Word was borrowed whole from French (see Word History). It is related to the word train in the sense of the trailing tail of a gown. The abstract noun for this word is entrainment and the personal one, entrainer.

In Play: The original meaning of today's Good Word meant "dragged behind or by", as in: "Entrained in the crowd, Milquetoste was slowly but surely drawn to the wrong subway car." But in its metaphorical sense, it wanders pretty far from that original meaning: "The stomach all too often entrains the heart among men." Doesn't that sound better than, "The way to a man's heart is through his stomach?"

Word History: Today's Good Word comes directly from the French verb, entrainer, from Old French en "in, on" + trainer "to drag". French inherited the word trainer from Vulgar (Street) Latin traginare, an extension of tragere "to pull". Tragere is a back-formation from tractus, the past participle of Latin trahere "drag, pull, haul" and the source of English words like tractor and attract. The ancient word which gave rise to tragere is apparent in many Indo-European languages: German tragen "to carry", Russian trag "track, trail", and English drag. (Today's Good Word was entrained from a suggestion by Norman Holler of Whitehorse, Yukon Territory.)

Dr. Goodword,

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