carp (n.) Look up carp at
type of freshwater fish, late 14c., from Old French carpe "carp" (13c.) and directly from Vulgar Latin carpa (source also of Italian carpa, Spanish carpa), from a Germanic source (compare Middle Dutch carpe, Dutch karper, Old High German karpfo, German Karpfen "carp"); possibly the immediate source is Gothic *karpa. A Danube fish (hence the proposed East Germanic origin of its name), introduced in English ponds 14c. Lithuanian karpis, Russian karp are Germanic loan words.
carp (v.) Look up carp at
"complain," early 13c., originally "to talk," from Old Norse karpa "to brag," which is of unknown origin; meaning turned toward "find fault with" (late 14c.), probably by influence of Latin carpere "to slander, revile," literally "to pluck" (see harvest (n.)). Related: Carped; carping.
carpaccio (n.) Look up carpaccio at
raw meat or fish served as an appetizer, late 20c., from Italian, often connected to the name of Renaissance painter Vittore Carpaccio (c. 1460-1526) but without any plausible explanation except perhaps that his pictures often feature an orange-red hue reminiscent of some raw meat.
carpal (adj.) Look up carpal at
"of the wrist," 1743, from Modern Latin carpalis, from carpus "wrist" (see carpus). Carpal tunnel syndrome attested by 1970, from carpal tunnel, the tunnel-like passage that carries nerves through the wrist.
Carpathian Look up Carpathian at
1670s, in reference to the mountain range of Eastern Europe, from Thracian Greek Karpates oros, literally "Rocky Mountain;" related to Albanian karpe "rock."
carpe diem Look up carpe diem at
1786, Latin, "enjoy the day," literally "pluck the day (while it is ripe)," an aphorism from Horace ("Odes" I.xi), from PIE *kerp- "to gather, pluck, harvest" (see harvest (n.)).
carpel (n.) Look up carpel at
1835, from Modern Latin carpellum (1817 in French), a diminutive form from Greek karpos "fruit" (also "returns, profit"), literally "that which is plucked," from PIE root *kerp- "to gather, pluck, harvest" (see harvest (n.)).
carpenter (n.) Look up carpenter at
"wood-worker," c. 1300 (attested from early 12c. as a surname), from Anglo-French carpenter, Old North French carpentier (Old French and Modern French charpentier), from Late Latin (artifex) carpentarius "wagon (maker)," from Latin carpentum "wagon, two-wheeled carriage, cart," from Gaulish, from Old Celtic *carpentom (compare Old Irish carpat, Gaelic carbad "carriage"), probably related to Gaulish karros (see car).

Also from the Late Latin word are Spanish carpintero, Italian carpentiero. Replaced Old English treowwyrhta, literally "tree-wright." German Zimmermann "carpenter" is from Old High German zimbarman, from zimbar "wood for building, timber," cognate with Old Norse timbr (see timber). First record of carpenter bee is from 1844. A carpenter's rule (1690s) is foldable, suitable for carrying in the pocket.
carpentry (n.) Look up carpentry at
late 14c., carpentrie, from Old French carpenterie, charpenterie "carpentry" (Modern French charpenterie), from Latin carpentaria (fabrica) "carriage-maker's (workshop);" see carpenter.
carper (n.) Look up carper at
mid-15c., "talker," agent noun from carp (v.).
carpet (n.) Look up carpet at
late 13c., "coarse cloth;" mid-14c., "tablecloth, bedspread;" from Old French carpite "heavy decorated cloth, carpet," from Medieval Latin or Old Italian carpita "thick woolen cloth," probably from Latin carpere "to card, pluck," probably so called because it was made from unraveled, shreded, "plucked" fabric; from PIE *kerp- "to gather, pluck, harvest" (see harvest (n.)). Meaning shifted 15c. to floor coverings.

From 16c.-19c. as an adjective often with a tinge of contempt, when used of men (as in carpet-knight, 1570s) by association with luxury, ladies' boudoirs, and drawing rooms. On the carpet "summoned for reprimand" is 1900, U.S. colloquial (but compare carpet (v.) "call (someone) to be reprimanded," 1823, British servants' slang). To sweep or push something under the carpet in the figurative sense is first recorded 1953.
carpet (v.) Look up carpet at
"to cover with a carpet," 1620s, from carpet (n.). Meaning "call to reprimand" is from 1840. Related: Carpeted; carpeting.
carpetbag (n.) Look up carpetbag at
also carpet-bag, "soft-cover traveling case made of carpet fabric," 1830, from carpet (n.) + bag (n.).
carpetbagger (n.) Look up carpetbagger at
also carpet-bagger, 1868, American English, scornful appellation for Northerners who went South after the fall of the CSA seeking private gain or political advancement. The name is based on the image of men arriving with all their worldly goods in a big carpetbag. Sense later extended to any opportunist from out of the area.
carpeting (n.) Look up carpeting at
1758, verbal noun from carpet (v.).
carpo- (1) Look up carpo- at
word-forming element meaning "fruit," from Latinized form of Greek karpo-, comb. form of karpos "fruit" (see carpel).
carpo- (2) Look up carpo- at
word-forming element meaning "wrist," from comb. form of Latin carpus, from Greek karpos "wrist" (see carpus).
carport (n.) Look up carport at
also car-port, 1939, American English, from car + port (n.1).
carpus (n.) Look up carpus at
1670s, from Modern Latin carpus, from Greek karpos "wrist," from PIE *kwerp- "to turn, revolve" (see wharf).
carrack (n.) Look up carrack at
merchant ship, late 14c., from Old French caraque "large, square-rigged sailing vessel," from Spanish carraca, related to Medieval Latin carraca, Italian caracca, all of uncertain origin, perhaps from Arabic qaraqir, plural of qurqur "merchant ship." The Arabic word perhaps was from Latin carricare (see charge (v.)) or Greek karkouros "boat, pinnacle."
carrefour (n.) Look up carrefour at
late 15c., "place where four ways meet," from Old French carrefor (13c., quarrefour), from Latin quadrifurcus "four-forked," from quatuor "four" (see four) + furca "fork" (see fork (n.)). "Formerly quite naturalized, but now treated only as French" [OED]. Englished variant carfax is from Middle English carfourkes.
carrel (n.) Look up carrel at
1590s, "study in a cloister," from Medieval Latin carula "small study in a cloister," which is of unknown origin; perhaps from Latin corolla "little crown, garland," used in various senses of "ring" (for example, a c. 1330 description of Stonehenge: "þis Bretons renged about þe feld, þe karole of þe stones beheld"); extended to precincts and spaces enclosed by rails, etc. Specific sense of "private cubicle in a library" is from 1919.
carriage (n.) Look up carriage at
late 14c., "act of carrying, means of conveyance; wheeled vehicles collectively," from Anglo-French and Old North French cariage "cart, carriage, action of transporting in a vehicle" (Old French charriage, Modern French charriage), from carier "to carry" (see carry (v.)). Meaning "individual wheeled vehicle" is c. 1400; specific sense of "horse-drawn, wheeled vehicle for hauling people" first attested 1706; extended to railway cars by 1830. Meaning "way of carrying one's body" is 1590s. Carriage-house attested from 1761.
carrier (n.) Look up carrier at
late 14c., agent noun from carry (v.). Meaning "person or animal that carries and disseminates infection without suffering obvious disease" is from 1899; genetic sense is 1933. As a short form of aircraft carrier it dates from 1917. Carrier pigeon is from 1640s.
carrion (n.) Look up carrion at
early 13c., carione, from Anglo-French carogne (Old North French caroigne; Old French charogne, 12c., "carrion, corpse," Modern French charogne), from Vulgar Latin *caronia "carcass" (source of Italian carogna, Spanish carroña "carrion"), from Latin caro "meat" (see carnage).
carrot (n.) Look up carrot at
1530s, from Middle French carrotte, from Latin carota, from Greek karoton "carrot," probably from PIE *kre-, from root *ker- (1) "horn, head" (see horn (n.)); so called for its horn-like shape. Originally white-rooted and a medicinal plant to the ancients, who used it as an aphrodisiac and to prevent poisoning. Not entirely distinguished from parsnips in ancient times. Reintroduced in Europe by Arabs c. 1100. The orange carrot, which existed perhaps as early as 6c., probably began as a mutation of the Asian purple carrot and was cultivated into the modern edible plant 16c.-17c. in the Netherlands. Thus the word is used as a color name but not before 1670s in English, originally of red hair.
carroty (adj.) Look up carroty at
1690s, "red-haired," from carrot (n.) + -y (2).
carrousel (n.) Look up carrousel at
variant of carousel.
carry (v.) Look up carry at
early 14c., from Anglo-French carier "to transport in a vehicle" or Old North French carrier "to cart, carry" (Modern French charrier), from Gallo-Roman *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.
carry (n.) Look up carry at
c. 1600, "vehicle for carrying," from carry (v.). U.S. football sense attested by 1949.
carry-all (n.) Look up carry-all at
1714 as a type of carriage; in the baggage sense from 1884; from carry (v.) + all (n.).
carry-out (adj.) Look up carry-out at
1935, from the verbal phrase, from carry (v.) + out (adv.).
carsick (adj.) Look up carsick at
also car-sick, 1908, on model of seasick, from car (n.) + sick (adj.). Related: Carsickness.
cart (n.) Look up cart at
c. 1200, from Old Norse kartr or a similar Scandinavian source, akin to and replacing Old English cræt "cart, wagon, chariot," perhaps originally "body of a cart made of wickerwork, hamper" and related to Middle Dutch cratte "woven mat, hamper," Dutch krat "basket," Old English cradol (see cradle (n.)). To put the cart before the horse in a figurative sense is from 1510s in those words; the image in other words dates to mid-14c.
cart (v.) Look up cart at
"to carry in a cart," late 14c., from cart (n.). Related: Carted; carting.
cart-way (n.) Look up cart-way at
also cart-way, mid-14c., from cart (n.) + way (n.).
cartage (n.) Look up cartage at
c. 1300, from cart + -age.
carte blanche (n.) Look up carte blanche at
1707, blank paper, French, literally "white paper" (see card (n.) + blank (adj.)); figurative sense of "full discretionary power" is from 1766.
carte de visite (n.) Look up carte de visite at
1861, French, literally "visiting card" (see card (n.1)); photograph portrait mounted on a 3.5 by 2.5 inch card.
cartel (n.) Look up cartel at
1550s, "a written challenge," from Middle French cartel (16c.), from Italian cartello "placard," diminutive of carta "card" (see card (n.1)). It came to mean "written agreement between challengers" (1690s) and then "a written agreement between challengers" (1889). Sense of "a commercial trust, an association of industrialists" comes 1902, via German Kartell, which is from French. The older U.S. term for that is trust (n.). The usual German name for them was Interessengemeinschaft, abbreviated IG.
carter (n.) Look up carter at
"cart-driver," late 12c., from Anglo-French careter, and in part an agent noun from cart (v.).
Cartesian (adj.) Look up Cartesian at
1650s, from Cartesius, Latinized form of the name of French philosopher and mathematician René Descartes (1596-1650), + -ian.
Carthage Look up Carthage at
ancient city of North Africa, from Phoenician quart khadash "new town." Related: Carthaginian.
Carthusian (adj.) Look up Carthusian at
late 14c., from Latin Cartusianus, in reference to an austere order of monks founded 1086 by St. Bruno at Chartreux, village in Dauphiné, France.
cartilage (n.) Look up cartilage at
early 15c., from Middle French cartilage (16c.) and directly from Latin cartilaginem (nominative cartilago) "cartilage, gristle," possibly related to Latin crates "wickerwork."
cartilaginous (adj.) Look up cartilaginous at
1540s, from French cartilagineux and directly from Latin cartilaginosus, from cartilago (genitive cartilaginis) "cartilage, gristle" (see cartilage).
cartography (n.) Look up cartography at
1843, from French cartographie, from Medieval Latin carta (see card (n.)) + French -graphie, from Greek -graphein "to write, to draw" (see -graphy). Related: Cartographer; cartographic.
carton (n.) Look up carton at
1816, from French carton "pasteboard" (17c.), from Italian cartone "pasteboard," augmentative of Medieval Latin carta "paper" (see card (n.)). Originally the material for making paper boxes; extended 1906 to the boxes themselves. As a verb, from 1921.
cartoon (n.) Look up cartoon at
1670s, "a drawing on strong paper (used as a model for another work)," from French carton, from Italian cartone "strong, heavy paper, pasteboard," thus "preliminary sketches made by artists on such paper" (see carton). Extension to comical drawings in newspapers and magazines is 1843.
Punch has the benevolence to announce, that in an early number of his ensuing Volume he will astonish the Parliamentary Committee by the publication of several exquisite designs, to be called Punch's Cartoons! ["Punch," June 24, 1843]
Also see -oon.
cartoon (v.) Look up cartoon at
1864 (implied in cartooned), from cartoon (n.). Related: Cartooning.