careen

verb
ca·​reen | \ kə-ˈrēn \
careened; careening; careens

Definition of careen

 (Entry 1 of 2)

transitive verb

1 : to put (a ship or boat) on a beach especially in order to clean, caulk, or repair the hull
2 : to cause to heel over High waves careened the boat.

intransitive verb

1a : to clean, caulk, or repair the hull of a boat
b : to undergo this process
2 : to heel over
3 : to sway from side to side : lurch a careening carriage being pulled wildly … by a team of runaway horses— J. P. Getty
4 : career The car careened down the hill.

careen

noun

Definition of careen (Entry 2 of 2)

archaic
: the act or process of careening : the state of being careened

Keep scrolling for more

Synonyms for careen

Synonyms: Verb

lurch, pitch, rock, roll, seesaw, sway, toss, wobble (also wabble)

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

Careen and Career

Verb

Some people might be confused by the warning to not confuse careen and career, because the most common sense of career ("a profession") is not much like any of the meanings of careen. But when employed as a verb, career does have some semantic overlap with careen; both words may be used to mean "to go at top speed especially in a headlong manner." A car, for instance, may either careen or career. Some usage guides hold, however, that the car is only careening if there is side-to-side motion, as careen has other meanings related to movement, among which is "to sway from side to side."

Examples of careen in a Sentence

Verb

the sled careened as it barreled down the hill he careened unsteadily to the couch after hitting his head

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Since Tencent Music made its IPO plans public in early October, stocks around the world have careened. Maureen Farrell, WSJ, "Tencent Music Rises in Trading Debut," 12 Dec. 2018 And yet, in practice, too many of us still careen from one crisis to the next, as if we were trapped in Donald Trump’s Twitter feed, leaving the last hot #Resistance struggle buried in yesterday’s timeline. Harper's BAZAAR, "Signs For Hope," 16 Aug. 2018 The ball careens off into space, striking a nearby asteroid which then crashes into the moon, splitting into thousand pieces. Fox News, "Gutfeld: Be nicer. It will drive your enemies nuts," 5 Aug. 2018 There isn’t a chance this will go well—and an effective mood of foreboding builds as the film careens along toward its manic climax. Taylor Antrim, Vogue, "True Crime Meets Male Entitlement in the Electrifying American Animals," 31 May 2018 It will be replaced with a 54-inch-tall divider, which meets modern federal height standards and is aimed at deterring most tall trucks from careening into oncoming traffic. Tony Bizjak, sacbee, "I-5 is ‘falling apart,’ and a massive fix is coming. Drivers, buckle up. | The Sacramento Bee," 12 Apr. 2018 The world seems to be careening into more and more disorder, and American politics in particular is hopelessly ensnarled in partisan dysfunction. Sean Illing, Vox, "Intellectuals have said democracy is failing for a century. They were wrong.," 20 Dec. 2018 With millennials careening into their thirties, more and more are feeling the strains of adult life and the impact these strains can have on a relationship. Tanya Edwards, Glamour, "The Divorce Registry Isn't a Thing, but It Should Be," 26 Nov. 2018 Ehrenreich is a preeminent voice on America's continued careening into inequality, starting long before the recession, most notably with her 2001 book Nickel and Dimed, in which the author chronicled various attempts to live on minimum wage. Bridget Read, Vogue, "Good Journalism for Hard Times," 18 July 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'careen.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of careen

Verb

circa 1583, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

Noun

1712, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for careen

Verb

from carine side of a ship, from Middle French, submerged part of a hull, from Latin carina hull, half of a nutshell; perhaps akin to Greek karyon nut

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about careen

Statistics for careen

Last Updated

3 Feb 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for careen

The first known use of careen was circa 1583

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for careen

careen

verb

English Language Learners Definition of careen

US : to go forward quickly without control

careen

verb
ca·​reen | \ kə-ˈrēn \
careened; careening

Kids Definition of careen

: to go at high speed without control

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on careen

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with careen

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for careen

Spanish Central: Translation of careen

Nglish: Translation of careen for Spanish Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about careen

Comments on careen

What made you want to look up careen? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

the perfect form or example of something

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

What did you just call me?! A Quiz

  • rows-of-various-emoji
  • If a member of the audience describes your speech as bombastic, does that person mean it is:
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

TAKE THE QUIZ
Add Diction

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!