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1. The last car on a freight train, often having kitchen and sleeping facilities for the train crew, and used as a vantage point for spotting problems on the train, such as smoking brakes or the separation of cars. The introduction of electronic sensors has made the caboose unnecessary.
2. Archaic
a. A ship's galley.
b. Any of various cast-iron cooking ranges used in such galleys during the early 1800s.
c. An outdoor oven or fireplace.

[Possibly from obsolete Dutch cabuse, ship's galley, from Middle Low German kabūse : perhaps *kab-, cabin; akin to Old French cabane; see cabin + Middle High German hūs, house.]


1. informal US short for calaboose
2. (Railways) railways US and Canadian a guard's van, esp one with sleeping and eating facilities for the train crew
3. (Nautical Terms) nautical
a. a deckhouse for a galley aboard ship or, formerly in Canada, on a lumber raft
b. chiefly Brit the galley itself
a. a mobile bunkhouse used by lumbermen, etc
b. an insulated cabin on runners, equipped with a stove
[C18: from Dutch cabūse, of unknown origin]



1. a car on a freight train, used chiefly as the crew's quarters and usu. attached to the rear of the train.
2. a ship's galley.
[1740–50; < early modern Dutch cabūse (Dutch kabuis) ship's galley]
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.caboose - the area for food preparation on a ship
cuddy - the galley or pantry of a small ship
kitchen - a room equipped for preparing meals
ship - a vessel that carries passengers or freight
2.caboose - a car on a freight train for use of the train crewcaboose - a car on a freight train for use of the train crew; usually the last car on the train
railcar, railroad car, railway car, car - a wheeled vehicle adapted to the rails of railroad; "three cars had jumped the rails"
freight train, rattler - a railroad train consisting of freight cars


[kəˈbuːs] N (US) → furgón m de cola


(Naut) → Kombüse f
(US Rail) → Dienstwagen m
References in classic literature ?
Fog creeping into the cabooses of collier-brigs; fog lying out on the yards and hovering in the rigging of great ships; fog drooping on the gunwales of barges and small boats.
By this accident we lost three men overboard with the caboose, and nearly the whole of the larboard bulwarks.
The trains will include 780 coal hopper cars and 20 cabooses, said the manager.
According to the company's, manager, these trains will include 780 coal hopper cars and 20 cabooses.
"DCC Projects & Applications: Volume 3" is a 96 page instruction manual that covers converting a DC layout to DCC; preventing and troubleshooting short circuits; installing decoders in N and HO locomotives; adding various lighting effects to locomotives; installing and controlling lights in cabooses and passenger cars; adding speakers and sound effects to engines; programming decoders; and fine-tuning locomotive speeds.
Plastic Extruders has donated Heronrib and Vynagrip matting for use in the expedition's two Cabooses. One is the main living caboose, or 'stonehage house', constructed from two 8.5m insulated containers and the other is a science caboose.
These tractors will pull two specially developed cabooses for scientific work, accommodation and storage, including 70,000 litres of fuel designed not to freeze.
You share things from the kitchen you can bet dollars to cabooses that trouble will rear its little ugly head.
All the other collegiate sports, from basketball to gymnastics, are cabooses being pulled along by the football locomotive.
Barry, a veteran railroad photographer and journalist, focuses this gallery of over 200 color photographs on rolling stock, showing how these boxcars, flatcars, hoppers, gondolas, autoracks and cabooses are an important part of North American railroad history.
Within these sections, individual chapters list locomotives, freight and maintenance-of-way cars, passenger cars, cabooses, and items.