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Lorry Vs. Truck: Meaning And How To Use Each One

Lorry Vs. Truck: Meaning And How To Use Each One

The words lorry and truck can be confusing when you are not a vehicle enthusiast. Most people use these words interchangeably, but is it right? Again, do you know the connection between these words and when to use them in sentences?

In British English, a lorry is a big, well-built motor vehicle for transporting large items. In American English, a truck is a heavy and large goods and troops vehicle. American English speakers prefer “truck,” while British English users prefer “lorry.” However, both terms refer to the same thing.

Lorry and truck are confusing words because of their definition similarities. However, there are some critical concerns about these words. Please read the rest of this article to understand the connection and differences between these words beyond their spellings.


Definitions Of Lorry And Truck

Many people use the words lorry and truck as synonyms. The best way to understand if these words are synonyms or different is by researching their definitions. Here are the meanings of the words lorry and truck:

Definitions Of Lorry

British English defines a lorry as “a motor vehicle for transporting goods and heavy loads.” The motor vehicle is also used for transporting troops. In this case, a lorry is like a truck. That means a lorry is a synonym for a truck.

Another definition of a lorry is “a large low wagon drawn by a horse.” However, this definition is currently obsolete. Consequently, many sources do not recognize this definition.

Some sources refer to a lorry as “a small cart or wagon on tramways in mines for carrying coal or rubbish.” It is worth noting that this definition is dated. While a few sources recognize it as a meaning of the word lorry, most sources do not mention it.

Another dated definition of a lorry is “a barrow or truck for shifting luggage at railway stations.” As a verb, to lorry means “to soil or dirt something with mud.”

Definitions Of Truck

American English defines a truck as a semi-tractor or trailer, also known as a lorry. So, Americans use the word truck as an alternative word for a lorry.

Another source defines a truck as any motor vehicle built for carrying and transporting cargo, like pickups and delivery vans. This source also describes a passenger auto with a bed for carrying goods as a truck.

A truck is also “a small wheel or roller,” especially on the wheels of a gun carriage (obsolete). The same source defines a truck as a ball positioned on top of a flagpole.

The nautical definition of a truck is “an object on the wooden mast, circular, or rectangular disc of wood at or near the top of a mast with holes to reeve signal halyards.” A truck serves as a temporary emergency place for a lookout or the mainmast where a truck may be called,” like a mizzen-truck.

Another definition of a truck is “a garden cart or two-wheeled wheelbarrow.” It also means a small wagon or cart pushed by hand or an animal like the ones used in hotels to move luggage or in libraries to transport books.

Other Meanings of Truck

A truck is “a pivoting frame connected to the bottom of a railway car’s bed at each end.” A truck rests on an axle that allows it to swivel. In simpler terms, a truck is a flatbed railway car.

In theater, a truck is a platform with wheels or casters. In sports, a truck is a section of the skateboard connecting the wheels and deck. A skateboard consists of bushings, baseplate, hanger and a riser mounted together.

Historically, the word truck referred to “the practice of paying workers in kind or with tokens exclusively exchangeable at a shop owned by the payer or employer.” However, this definition became obsolete in the 19th century.

Another straightforward definition of a truck is “dirt or other forms of messiness.” Unfortunately, this definition is the least common.

How To Properly Use The Words Lorry And Truck In A Sentence

You can easily use the words lorry and truck in a sentence once you master their meanings. Check out the following tips for using these words in sentences:

How To Use The Word Lorry

Use this noun in a sentence to refer to:

  • A motor vehicle for transporting cargo
  • A vehicle for transporting troops
  • Any crossed or open vehicle for troops and material transportation

How To Use The Word Truck

Use this noun in a sentence to refer to:

  • A large vehicle for moving cargo, goods, or troops
  • A lorry for transporting goods or people
  • A small wheeled cart with handles on one end for transporting small loads like goods in a hotel or library

Also, use this word as a verb to mean:

  • To travel 
  • To drive a truck 
  • To convey by a truck
  • To endure
  • To persist

Additionally, you can use this word as an adjective to mean:

  • Pertaining to a truck garden
  • Pertaining to a motor vehicle for transporting cargo or troops 

When To Use The Words Lorry And Truck

Most people in the U.K. and other British English-speaking regions prefer to use the word lorry. In fact, they use lorry and truck interchangeably. This is understandable because the Oxford English dictionary defines a lorry as a truck and vice versa.

Both definitions are “a large and heavy motor vehicle for transporting troops, goods, and massive loads.” So, the dictionary describes a lorry as an alternative word for a truck. So, you can use the words lorry and truck interchangeably when writing in British English.

However, this application doesn’t reflect what American English speakers believe. American English contexts prefer to use the word truck, especially when referring to vehicles carrying loads above 3.5 tons. You can also use the term lorry, but it’s not common. Those that use it refer to a lorry as a smaller truck that carries lighter goods.

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Lorry Vs. Truck: Differences Of These Words

The correct spellings for these words are L.O.R.R.Y. and T.R.U.C.K. They are pretty simple words to spell. The word lorry has two syllables. Its correct pronunciation is “/lor-ry/.” In contrast, the word truck has one syllable, and its proper pronunciation is “/truhk/.”

The word lorry came about in 1838 as an alternative word for a truck. It’s derived from the verb “lurry,” meaning “to tug or pull.” In contrast, the word truck came about in 1610, meaning “small wheel or vehicle.” In 1896 a German made the first motor truck.

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List Of Examples Of The Words Lorry And Truck Use In Sentences

After reading this article, you should be able to use these words in sentences correctly. Below are some examples:

Example sentences of the word lorry

  1. The lorry carried the troops away from the village. 
  2. Morris bought a new lorry last night.
  3. The lorry could not carry all the load in one trip. 
  4. The red lorry passed through the village twice. 
  5. My brother’s lorry broke down in the middle of nowhere. 

Example sentences of the word truck

  1. You can easily recognize Simon’s truck by its branding.
  2. The yellow truck carried the harvest to the market. 
  3. The families used the truck to hide their cargo from the patrol cops. 
  4. Fred’s truck got damaged in the rain. 
  5. This truck will not survive the muddy road. 


Truck and lorry are similar words, and approved dictionaries describe them as synonyms. However, these words have some distinctions based on the context used. To avoid confusion, use truck in American English and lorry in British English.