1 of 5


carped; carping; carps

intransitive verb

: to find fault or complain querulously
carper noun


2 of 5

noun (1)


3 of 5

noun (2)

plural carp or carps
: a large variable Asian soft-finned freshwater cyprinid fish (Cyprinus carpio) of sluggish waters that is often raised for food and has been widely introduced into U.S. waters
also : any of various related cyprinid fishes (such as the grass carp)
: a fish (such as the European sea bream) resembling a carp


4 of 5

combining form

variants or carpo-
: fruit


5 of 5

noun combining form

: part of a fruit
: fruit

Examples of carp in a Sentence

Verb He's always carping about his boss. He's tired of always being carped at by his critics. Noun (1) the usual carp about that restaurant is that the service is slow
Recent Examples on the Web
Those small men carping about their indisputable successes, by contrast, are losers — and their stories are soon lost in the sands of time. Oliver Bateman, Washington Examiner, 12 Jan. 2024 But those critics aren’t carping so loudly any more. April Roach, Fortune Europe, 21 Nov. 2023 But bitten by the carp bug 13 years ago, Moore decided to roll back his client list, grow his hair long, and chase carp the world over. Kirk Deeter, Field & Stream, 5 Dec. 2020 Critics carp that the United States has overinvested in India—that the favors accorded to New Delhi have not been worth the return. Robert D. Blackwill, Foreign Affairs, 12 Aug. 2019 The state’s Republicans have carped about the cost of these policies. Grace Segers, The New Republic, 3 July 2023 But with the Biden administration now taking a more active interest in regulating the industry, crypto fans are carping about a conspiracy bent on taking the industry down. Jacob Silverman, The New Republic, 12 May 2023 While some might carp that the room décor is a little dated, the value was clear to hundreds of guests. Michael Goldstein, Forbes, 9 Apr. 2022 Purists will understandably carp about this, but Warners now owns those titles and thus claims them as their own. Jon Burlingame, Variety, 7 Apr. 2023
District Wildlife Manager Philip Sorensen thanked the angler who tipped the agency off to the carp’s presence. Brooke Baitinger, Idaho Statesman, 13 May 2024 Bighead carp, which are part of the Asian carp family, usually live up to 16 years but can live longer, according to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Katie Langford, The Denver Post, 13 May 2024 The rig was baited with a chunk of fresh carp, which the gar grabbed around mid-morning in the same area that Weston caught the 283-pounder last September. Steven Hill, Field & Stream, 9 May 2024 In Iowa, the majority of the deceased fish were minnows, shiners, dace, or chub, though thousands of channel catfish and at least 264 flatheads were killed, too, along with carp and sunfish. Sage Marshall, Field & Stream, 3 Apr. 2024 There’s also a historic hacienda built by the López presidential dynasty, a free natural history museum and a miniature Japanese garden whose pond is prowled by carp and caimans. Laurence Blair, New York Times, 7 Mar. 2024 This tiny fish in the minnow and carp family can produce sounds louder than an airplane taking off as perceived by human ears at a distance of 328 feet, according to a study published February 26 in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS). Laura Baisas, Popular Science, 28 Feb. 2024 Koi carp are bred to create their distinctive markings. David Morgan, CBS News, 15 Mar. 2024 Koi’s Garden The action on this dial involves a pair of three-dimensional carp fish swimming in a stream surrounded by colorful pebbles. Carol Besler, Robb Report, 12 Mar. 2024

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'carp.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History



Middle English, of Scandinavian origin; akin to Icelandic karpa to dispute

Noun (2)

Middle English carpe, from Middle French, from Late Latin carpa, probably of Germanic origin; akin to Old High German karpfo carp

Combining form

French & New Latin, from Greek karp-, karpo-, from karpos — more at harvest

Noun combining form

New Latin -carpium, from Greek -karpion, from karpos

First Known Use


15th century, in the meaning defined above

Noun (1)

15th century, in the meaning defined above

Noun (2)

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of carp was in the 15th century


Dictionary Entries Near carp

Cite this Entry

“Carp.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 25 May. 2024.

Kids Definition


1 of 2 verb
: to find fault : complain
carper noun


2 of 2 noun
plural carp or carps
: a large Asian freshwater fish often raised for food and widely introduced into U.S. waters
also : any of various related or similar fishes

More from Merriam-Webster on carp

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