1. a male given name, form of Carew.
  2. a female given name, form of Caroline.

verb -ries, -rying or -ried (mainly tr)

  1. (also intr) to take or bear (something) from one place to anotherto carry a baby in one’s arms
  2. to transfer for consideration; takehe carried his complaints to her superior
  3. to have on one’s personhe always carries a watch
  4. (also intr) to be transmitted or serve as a medium for transmittingsound carries best over water
  5. to contain or be capable of containingthe jug carries water
  6. to bear or be able to bear the weight, pressure, or responsibility ofher efforts carry the whole production
  7. to have as an attribute or resultthis crime carries a heavy penalty
  8. to bring or communicateto carry news
  9. (also intr) to be pregnant with (young)she is carrying her third child
  10. to bear (the head, body, etc) in a specified mannershe carried her head high
  11. to conduct or bear (oneself) in a specified mannershe carried herself well in a difficult situation
  12. to continue or extendthe war was carried into enemy territory
  13. to cause to move or godesire for riches carried him to the city
  14. to influence, esp by emotional appealhis words carried the crowd
  15. to secure the passage of (a bill, motion, etc)
  16. to win (an election)
  17. to obtain victory for (a candidate or measure) in an election
  18. mainly US to win a plurality or majority of votes in (a district, legislative body, etc)the candidate carried 40 states
  19. to captureour troops carried the town
  20. (of communications media) to include as the contentthis newspaper carries no book reviews
  21. accounting to transfer (an item) to another account, esp to transfer to the following year’s account instead of writing off against profit and lossto carry a loss Also (esp US): carry over
  22. maths to transfer (a number) from one column of figures to the next, as from units to tens in multiplication and addition
  23. (of a shop, trader, etc) to keep in stockto carry confectionery
  24. to support (a musical part or melody) against the other parts
  25. to sustain (livestock)this land will carry twelve ewes to the acre
  26. to maintain (livestock) in good health but without increasing their weight or obtaining any products from them
  27. (intr) (of a ball, projectile, etc) to travel through the air or reach a specified pointhis first drive carried to the green
  28. sport, esp golf (of a ball) to travel beyondthe drive carried the trees
  29. (intr) (of a gun) to have a range as specifiedthis rifle carries for 1200 yards
  30. to retain contact with and pursue (a line of scent)
  31. (intr) (of ground) to be in such a condition that scent lies well upon it
  32. ice hockey to move (the puck) forwards, keeping it against the blade of the stick
  33. informal to imbibe (alcoholic drink) without showing ill effects
  34. (intr) slang to have drugs on one’s person
  35. carry all before one to win unanimous support or approval for oneself
  36. carry a tune to be able to sing in tune
  37. carry the can informal to take the responsibility for some misdemeanour, etc (on behalf of)
  38. carry the day to win a contest or competition; succeed

noun plural -ries

  1. the act of carrying
  2. US and Canadian a portion of land over which a boat must be portaged
  3. the range of a firearm or its projectile
  4. the distance travelled by a ball, etc, esp (in golf) the distance from where the ball is struck to where it first touches the ground

c.1600, “vehicle for carrying,” from carry (v.). U.S. football sense attested by 1949.


early 14c., from Anglo-French carier “to transport in a vehicle” or Old North French carrier “to cart, carry” (Modern French charrier), from Gallo-Romance *carrizare, from Late Latin carricare, from Latin carrum (see car).

Meaning “take by force” is from 1580s. Sense of “gain victory in an election” is from 1610s. Of sound, “to be heard at a distance” by 1896. Carrying capacity is attested from 1836. Carry on “continue to advance” is from 1640s; carryings-on “questionable doings” is from 1660s. Carry-castle (1590s) was an old descriptive term for an elephant.

In addition to the idioms beginning with carry

  • carry a torch for
  • carry a tune
  • carry away
  • carry coals to Newcastle
  • carry forward
  • carrying charge
  • carry off
  • carry on
  • carry out
  • carry over
  • carry the ball
  • carry the can
  • carry the day
  • carry the torch
  • carry through
  • carry too far
  • carry weight

also see:

  • fetch and carry
  • (carry) off someone’s feet

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