lumbering trot

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Senior Member
"The policeman nodded dutifully and set off at a lumbering trot."

I saw this sentence but can't imagine what a lumbering trot is like since, for me, to lumber and to trot seem to have contradictional meanings.
  • Ponyprof

    Senior Member
    Canadian English
    Horses and dogs do walk, trot and what's called canter or gallop (in horses). The trot is a two beat diagonal gait. It can be any speed or level of enthusiasm as long as the diagonal front and rear leg move in unison. If they don't it is another kind of gait. A horse can even trot on the spot.

    Obviously humans with only two legs only have one cadence for waking and running. But we borrow the word "trot" from animals for a human doing some kind of slow jog, not exactly a run.

    In horses and humans and dogs, a trot can be any degree of speed and liveliness. A horse can certainly have a slow lumbering trot, especially a horse that is big, heavy, older, or footsore. And so can a human.


    Senior Member
    English - U.S.
    He's not swift and athletic in his movements. He might be overweight or just not built with a runner's body type. He's trotting (faster than a walk, slower than a run) but he doesn't look graceful and he's using a lot of energy to do it.
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