Etymology
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careen (v.)

1590s, "turn a ship on its side" (with the keel exposed, for inspection, repairs, etc.), from French cariner, literally "expose a ship's keel," from French carene "keel" (16c.), from Italian (Genoese dialect) carena, from Latin carina "keel of a ship," also (and perhaps originally) "nutshell," possibly from PIE root *kar- "hard."

The intransitive sense of "lean, tilt" is from 1763 of ships; in general use by 1883. In the sense of "rush headlong," it is confused with career (v.) at least since 1923. [To career is to move rapidly; to careen is to lurch from side to side, often while moving rapidly.] Earlier figurative uses of careen were "to be laid up; to rest." Related: Careened; careening.

updated on November 07, 2022

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