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Wagon vs. Lorry: What's the Difference?

Edited by Sumera Saeed || By Sawaira Riaz || Updated on October 19, 2023
"Wagon" typically refers to a four-wheeled vehicle for transporting goods or people; "Lorry" is a British term for a large motor vehicle for transporting goods.

Key Differences

"Wagon" is a term that traditionally refers to a four-wheeled vehicle, often pulled by animals, used for transporting goods or sometimes people. It's a term that's been used historically, particularly in the context of the Old West. "Lorry," on the other hand, is a British term that refers to what Americans would call a truck, specifically a larger motor vehicle designed for transporting goods. Unlike a wagon, a lorry is motorized and not designed for carrying passengers.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 19, 2023
In everyday language, "wagon" might also refer to a station wagon, which is a car with a longer body style containing a large area behind the seats for storage, similar to what is known in British English as an estate car. "Lorry" doesn't have this kind of flexibility in meaning; it's specifically used to refer to a larger vehicle used for commercial purposes, similar to what Americans would refer to as a semi or tractor-trailer truck.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 19, 2023
In terms of functionality, "wagons" in their traditional sense aren't commonly used anymore except in specific settings, like farms or historical reenactments, or as a term for certain types of cars. "Lorries," however, are a common sight on highways, transporting goods both locally and internationally as part of a global supply chain. They're an integral part of commerce and trade, essential for moving products from manufacturers to warehouses to retailers.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 19, 2023
From a linguistic perspective, "wagon" is a term used primarily in American English, while "lorry" is distinctively British. If you were in the United States and referred to a "lorry," you might receive confused looks, with people likely thinking you're referring to a truck. Conversely, in the UK, "wagon" might bring to mind the American West or a type of car, rather than a vehicle for transporting goods.
Aimie Carlson
Oct 19, 2023
In cultural representations, "wagons" often evoke images of historical periods, particularly the American frontier, covered wagons, and pioneers. They're part of American folklore and history. "Lorries," meanwhile, don't have the same historical connotations but are more present in everyday modern life, especially in the UK. They're associated with the practicalities of modern transport and commerce, rather than a romanticized past.
Janet White
Oct 19, 2023
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Comparison Chart

Parts of speech

Used primarily as a noun
Used as a noun
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 19, 2023

Grammatical role

Functions as a subject or object in a sentence
Functions as a subject or object in a sentence
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 19, 2023

Conjugation

Not applicable (non-verb)
Not applicable (non-verb)
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 19, 2023

Synonyms

Cart, carriage, vehicle
Truck, rig, heavy goods vehicle
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 19, 2023

Usage

Common in American English
Predominantly British English
Harlon Moss
Oct 19, 2023
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Wagon and Lorry Definitions

Wagon

A vehicle with four wheels, usually pulled by horses or oxen, used for transporting goods or people.
They used a sturdy wagon to cross the plains during their move westward.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 19, 2023

Lorry

In British English, a flatbed or open-top vehicle for transporting goods.
The farmer loaded the hay bales onto the lorry.
Aimie Carlson
Oct 19, 2023

Wagon

A car with a longer body style containing a large area behind the seats for storage; a station wagon.
She packed all the camping gear into the back of her wagon.
Janet White
Oct 19, 2023

Lorry

A large truck for carrying heavy loads.
The construction lorry was filled with building materials.
Janet White
Oct 19, 2023

Wagon

In British slang, the "wagon" can refer to abstaining from alcohol (as in "on the wagon").
After the new year, he was on the wagon for three months.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 19, 2023

Lorry

In general, any heavy motor vehicle used for haulage.
The lorry struggled to climb the steep hill with its heavy load.
Janet White
Oct 19, 2023

Wagon

A four-wheeled, usually horse-drawn vehicle with a large rectangular body, used for transporting loads.
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 01, 2022

Lorry

A vehicle used for commercial transport, especially in the UK.
The parking lot was filled with lorries from various logistics companies.
Harlon Moss
Oct 19, 2023

Wagon

A light automotive transport or delivery vehicle.
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 01, 2022

Lorry

A motor truck.
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 01, 2022

Wagon

A station wagon.
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 01, 2022

Lorry

(British) A large and heavy motor vehicle designed to carry goods or soldiers; a truck
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 01, 2022

Wagon

A police patrol wagon.
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 01, 2022

Lorry

A truck with an open carriage
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 01, 2022

Wagon

A child's low, four-wheeled cart hauled by a long handle that governs the direction of the front wheels.
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 01, 2022

Lorry

(dated) A barrow or truck for shifting baggage, as at railway stations.
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 01, 2022

Wagon

A small table or tray on wheels used for serving drinks or food
A dessert wagon.
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 01, 2022

Lorry

(dated) A small cart or wagon used on the tramways in mines to carry coal or rubbish.
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 01, 2022

Wagon

Wagon The Big Dipper
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 01, 2022

Lorry

(obsolete) A large, low, horse-drawn, four-wheeled cart without sides; also, a similar wagon modified for use on railways.
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 01, 2022

Wagon

Chiefly British An open railway freight car.
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 01, 2022

Lorry

To transport by, or as if by, lorry.
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 01, 2022

Wagon

To transport or undergo transportation by wagon.
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 01, 2022

Lorry

A large low horse-drawn wagon without sides
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 01, 2022

Wagon

A heavier four-wheeled (normally horse-drawn) vehicle designed to carry goods (or sometimes people).
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 01, 2022

Lorry

A large truck designed to carry heavy loads; usually without sides
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 01, 2022

Wagon

Abbreviation of toy wagon; A child's riding toy, with the same structure as a wagon (sense 1), pulled or steered by a long handle attached to the front.
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 01, 2022

Lorry

A large motor vehicle for transporting goods by road.
The lorry driver delivered the furniture to our new house.
Harlon Moss
Oct 19, 2023

Wagon

(rail) A vehicle (wagon) designed to transport goods or people on railway.
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 01, 2022

Wagon

(slang) transporting]] prisoners
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 01, 2022

Wagon

; (by extension) a sport utility vehicle (SUV); any car.
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 01, 2022

Wagon

A woman of loose morals, a promiscuous woman, a slapper; (by extension) a woman regarded as obnoxious; a bitch, a cow.
Thesaurus:promiscuous woman
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 01, 2022

Wagon

(math) A kind of prefix used in de Bruijn notation.
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 01, 2022

Wagon

(slang) Buttocks.
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 01, 2022

Wagon

To load into a wagon in preparation for transportation; to transport by means of a wagon.
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 01, 2022

Wagon

To travel in a wagon.
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 01, 2022

Wagon

A wheeled carriage; a vehicle on four wheels, and usually drawn by horses; especially, one used for carrying freight or merchandise.
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 01, 2022

Wagon

A freight car on a railway.
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 01, 2022

Wagon

A chariot
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 01, 2022

Wagon

The Dipper, or Charles's Wain.
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 01, 2022

Wagon

To transport in a wagon or wagons; as, goods are wagoned from city to city.
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 01, 2022

Wagon

To wagon goods as a business; as, the man wagons between Philadelphia and its suburbs.
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 01, 2022

Wagon

Any of various kinds of wheeled vehicles drawn by a horse or tractor
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 01, 2022

Wagon

Van used by police to transport prisoners
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 01, 2022

Wagon

A group of seven bright stars in the constellation Ursa Major
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 01, 2022

Wagon

A child's four-wheeled toy cart sometimes used for coasting
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 01, 2022

Wagon

A car that has a long body and rear door with space behind rear seat
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 01, 2022

Wagon

A vehicle for transporting goods, typically on a railway.
Several wagons on the train were filled with industrial goods.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 19, 2023

Wagon

A small cart that children play with.
He pulled his sister around the yard in a little red wagon.
Sara Rehman
Oct 19, 2023

FAQs

Can "wagon" refer to a child's toy?

Yes, small, pullable "wagons" are popular toys for children.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 19, 2023

What's a "lorry" in American English?

It's generally equivalent to a truck, particularly a larger, cargo-carrying vehicle.
Sara Rehman
Oct 19, 2023

Does "wagon" imply a lack of motorization?

Traditionally, yes, but it can also refer to motorized vehicles like station wagons.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 19, 2023

Can "wagon" refer to a type of car?

Yes, in modern usage, it can refer to a station wagon, a type of car.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 19, 2023

How large is a "lorry"?

Lorries vary in size, but are generally large, motorized vehicles designed for heavy loads.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 19, 2023

Is "lorry" used in American English?

Rarely, it's predominantly a British term equivalent to "truck" in American English.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 19, 2023

Is "on the wagon" a phrase related to "wagon"?

Yes, it's an idiom meaning abstaining from alcohol.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 19, 2023

What goods are transported by "lorry"?

Anything from commercial products to industrial materials.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 19, 2023

Were "wagons" used in the American West?

Yes, they were common for transportation during the 19th century.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 19, 2023

Are "lorries" involved in international transport?

Yes, they're essential in the logistics chains across countries.
Sara Rehman
Oct 19, 2023

Did pioneers use "wagons"?

Yes, they were common for transportation in the 1800s.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 19, 2023

Is "wagon" used in British English?

It's used but may refer more to railway transport or certain types of cars.
Aimie Carlson
Oct 19, 2023

Is "lorry" specific to the UK?

It's most common in the UK and some Commonwealth countries; the US equivalent is "truck."
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 19, 2023

Do "wagons" still have practical uses today?

Outside historical reenactments, they're more commonly toys or types of cars.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 19, 2023

Are all trucks "lorries" in British English?

Typically, but "truck" might be used for smaller vehicles.
Aimie Carlson
Oct 19, 2023

Can "lorry" refer to a small truck?

Generally, it refers to larger trucks, but usage can vary.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 19, 2023

Do "lorries" have a standard size?

No, they come in various sizes for different loads.
Sara Rehman
Oct 19, 2023

Is "wagon" outdated?

In some contexts, but it's still used for cars and toys.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 19, 2023

What's a "lorry park"?

An area where lorries can park, typically equipped for commercial drivers.
Sara Rehman
Oct 19, 2023

Are "wagons" and "carts" the same?

They're similar, but "wagon" often implies a larger size.
Sara Rehman
Oct 19, 2023
About Author
Written by
Sawaira Riaz
Sawaira is a dedicated content editor at difference.wiki, where she meticulously refines articles to ensure clarity and accuracy. With a keen eye for detail, she upholds the site's commitment to delivering insightful and precise content.
Edited by
Sumera Saeed
Sumera is an experienced content writer and editor with a niche in comparative analysis. At Diffeence Wiki, she crafts clear and unbiased comparisons to guide readers in making informed decisions. With a dedication to thorough research and quality, Sumera's work stands out in the digital realm. Off the clock, she enjoys reading and exploring diverse cultures.

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