car·​re·​four | \ ˌker-ə-ˈfu̇r How to pronounce carrefour (audio) , ˌka-rə- \

Definition of carrefour

 (Entry 1 of 2)

2 : square, plaza the farmers … preferred the open carrefour for their transactions— Thomas Hardy


geographical name
Carre·​four | \ ˌkär-ˈfu̇r How to pronounce Carrefour (audio) \

Definition of Carrefour (Entry 2 of 2)

residential city west of Port-au-Prince in southern Haiti population 430,000

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Did You Know?

An interesting thing about "carrefour" is that even though the second half of the word contains the number "four," it is actually the first half of the word that derives from the Latin word for "four." Carrefour derives via Middle French from Late Latin quadrifurcus, an adjective meaning "having four forks," formed by combining Latin quadri- ("four") and "furca" ("fork"). "Carrefour" has been a part of the English language since the 15th century. It once referred to an intersection of four roads at a single point, but later came to refer to any public square or plaza. "Carfax," a similar word that also derives from "quadrifurcus," can be found in some British place names, such as the primary intersection in the city of Oxford, England.

Examples of carrefour in a Sentence

Noun our hotel in Montreal was adjacent to a noisy carrefour
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun But in carrefours all over the world, migrants talk to each other in this way, trading hope, disappointment, tenacity, pain. Cynthia Gorney, National Geographic, "African migrants in Europe trade one hardship for another," 25 June 2019 Youssouf, who’s been in Spain for 14 years, calls Lepe a carrefour, a crossroads. Cynthia Gorney, National Geographic, "African migrants in Europe trade one hardship for another," 25 June 2019

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

First Known Use of carrefour


15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for carrefour


Middle French, from Late Latin quadrifurcum, neuter of quadrifurcus having four forks, from Latin quadri- + furca fork

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The first known use of carrefour was in the 15th century

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Cite this Entry

“Carrefour.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 18 Jan. 2021.

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Nglish: Translation of carrefour for Spanish Speakers

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